Thursday, October 16, 2008

Surfing The Web

The spiders seem to get hyper-active in the fall. Maybe it's just an illusion. They're probably always out there and it's simply the foggy fall days that make the webs more visible as water condenses on them.

Oh what a tangled web we weave...

This web is one of six or seven that appeared on a recent morning between the uprights of our deck railing. The rising sun shines through them and makes them sparkle.


  1. That spider missed a bit - or do you think s/he was going for the distressed look?

  2. The missing bit tells me that this is probably the web of the marble head orb-web spiderZygiella x-notata, (zygielle des fenêtres in French), very common at this time of the year. The webs usually have a segment missing with the signal line (which runs from the web to the spiders retreat) running through the gap.

  3. Susan, thanks for the comment on Ken's blog about citizenship-- very interesting to me!

    Walt, this is one mighty-looking spider web (and a fabulous photo). It looks like something right out of a Halloween decorations department. I understand that Halloween is now celebrated in some way in at least some parts of France... do you see evidence of that around Halloween time?


  4. autolycus, very fashionable arachnid, indeed!

    susan, some of the webs are actually pretty perfect looking, so is the trigger line actually incorporated into the web or is it external to the web in that case?

    judy, check out last year's webs.

  5. Walt – two possibilities – 1. the perfect webs are a different species, in which case there may not be a signal line (if you can see the spider, it is probably not using a signal line; if you can't see the spider then one of the long strands will extend to the spider's hidey hole); 2. apparently young zygielles are more likely to produce perfect webs than mature ones (don't know why – presumably the imperfect ones work better, but the spiders have to learn that).


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