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!