|Orb-weaver--primitive, but pretty!|
After photographing a lovely orb-weaver the other night, and shunning the ragged work of the funnel-weavers, which resemble little more than cob-webs in a corner, I read the bit about spiders in Hubbell's book, and was intrigued by the notion that orb-weavers, despite the beauty and order of their webs, are actually (or, rather, theoretically) the more primitive arachnids of the two groups. So I went hunting for the funnel-weavers in my brush pile, and tried to see the beauty in their messy webs. Getting a closer look, it seems, is the key. They may not be as beautiful, but it seems to me that they are very efficient and strong--a good plan for a predator that lives by trapping prey in a net.
Here are some photos of the many funnel webs in my brush pile. (Do you have a brush pile? It's a great way to attract wildlife!)
|Collects more rainwater than an orb...|
|Is more densely built...|
|Is attached to everything nearby...|
|It's more like a sheet than a web, and even catches dusty droppings from a wood-boring beetle.|
|Hello funnel-weaver! (Agelanopsis) Look carefully to the left and see the funnel it has begun to weave.|
|Welcome to my parlor...|
Can't get enough spiders? Check out some books and field guides.