Monday, October 3, 2016

Bolinda the Bolas Spider

On our routine walk down our road, Steve and I both spotted this spider and knew, even without seeing one before, it was a female Bolas Spider. Book flipping does help stick things in our brains sometimes...especially such a distinctive creature. Steve named her Bolinda and it stuck just like her bolas.


She resembles a bird dropping, which must help keep her safe from predators. We think this is the Cornfield Bolas Spider (Mastophora hutchinsoni) and we know it's a female because she is so large.


This Bolas Spider chose a Common Milkweed plant to call home. How perfect! Here is one of her egg cases tied on to the milkweed plant:


A few days later, we saw she made another egg case and you can also see her web. She hunts in a very unusual way for spiders though...by emitting a pheromone to attract moths and throwing a sticky bolas to capture them. You can read more here and see some great photos & videos of the bolas. WOW!


The potential for mowing grew too high on this commonly mowed, roadside edge, so we cut the entire plant and brought her home. She settled right in and so hopefully next year we will have more Bolas Spiders here!


If you want to see another super cool invertebrate home click here to see one we found last spring. This world is incredible!

7 comments:

  1. I love spiders. This was very interesting to read.
    I passed it on to our daughter who loves them too. Thanks for protecting her. :)

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    1. This is the perfect time of year for spiders...we are loving watching all the orb weavers amongst the asters. :) We are so glad you all love spiders too!

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  2. I would never have know that was a spider!
    Very cool!

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    1. We totally walked right by, then I said WAIT! We had to go back and there she was. Lovely little thing. :)

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  3. Very fun post to read. I have my own Bolas Spider at my house (also an M. Hutchinsoni) and it's fascinating. It would be awesome if you could catch some pictures of her in action one night.

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    1. Alas, she moved on or called it quits on the season so we didn't get any nighttime pictures. How is yours??

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