My Digital Photography of
Baby Orb-Weaving Spiders
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On May 18, 2010, I photographed the emergence of hundreds of baby orb-weavers. They were all over the gutter downspout. I am not sure of what kind they are, but I am guessing they could be from the spiders I had on the porch last year, orb-weavers 9a and 9b. A few seemed to drift away, but most stayed in a clump with their siblings. Thinking I was doing them a favor (there were other spiders just waiting for the stragglers to climb onto the wall where they could be eaten), I blew some of them on a piece of paper and took them to other places in the yard.
I expected that by the following day, the remaining spiderlings would be gone, but when I arrived home from work, there was still a clump of them. These photos were taken on May 19, 2010.
It wasn't until I started looking more closely that I saw what was really going on---the babies were cannibals! They were sinking their fangs into unsuspecting brothers and sisters in the clump and eating them! Now I wonder if I should have left the others there because maybe part of their lifecycle is to get stronger by feeding on siblings first. I have always separated my jumping spider babies to prevent cannibalism, but maybe in the wild, they would also do this.
Here is one in the process of killing its unsuspecting sibling.
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