Two hyperactive spiders

Last night, we returned home to find two spiders busy constructing an intricate web. Two webs, to be precise. Right next to each other.

Their webs were suspended between the roof of the carport and the washing line, and – thankfully – just above our heads.

My initial fright on almost touching the sticky threads with my head on the way to the back door,  gave way to curiosity.

I grabbed my camera.

Both spiders had a bulbous, almost spherical body, probably about the size of your little finger(tip/nail) [the actual dimensions depend on whom you ask].

Spider weaving a web

In the next shot, you can clearly see the silvery threads of the web.

I think it’s actually very beautiful! Look!

What an intricate web!

It was really difficult to get a good picture though. The camera was struggling to focus.

Firstly, the wind was fairly strong, and blustery, and so the silvery web was swaying back and forth. Secondly, the spiders themselves were engrossed in weaving additional threads to strengthen the web, and running backwards and forwards and around and around. And, thirdly, it was dark. I kept having to wave my arm to trigger the security light to turn on, so that I had enough light to see the spiders.

“How am I ever going to get a good shot to post on my blog?!” I wailed in despair.

Hubby obligingly took the camera from my hands and devoted the next half hour to playing around with the camera settings and taking one picture after another, until he had some good images. So it is thanks to his perseverance that you are now able to see what spidery creatures currently reside under our carport roof.

And he was lucky enough to witness the moment when a hapless Christmas beetle was windblown into one of the webs. Within moments, the spider – racing around and around its prey – had wrapped it up in a deadly and sticky cocoon.

A captured Christmas beetle

Here is a close-up:

A terrifying close-up

Scary, hey?!

These spiders sure are excellent predators.

P.S. This morning, however, there was no sign of the web – or (disconcertingly) of the spiders. Perhaps they are only active at night? We’ll have to double-check later tonight.

8 thoughts on “Two hyperactive spiders

  1. We had a similar experience at Cape Agulhas Park a couple of weeks ago. Web was visible late the evening and the next morning it was gone, as in gone. Not a trace of spider and or web. Went to have a look late the next evening and the web and spider had returned, only to have dissapeared by sunrise next morning. Managed to get a photograph, and it appears to be similar to your spider. ( Will post to my blog later today). I assume that they eat their webs and tried to find out more, ergo landing on your blog. Stll have no explanation or what type of spider it is, but will keep on digging around
    Graham Slater

    • Hello Graham, and heartily welcome to my blog – so pleased that you left a comment, and that you had the same odd experience with spiders and their vanishing webs. I had arrived at a similar conclusion – that they *eat* their webs. Ulp. PLEASE do let me know if you ever manage to find out what type of spider this is, as I have not succeeded yet.

    • Wow! Thank you so much, Gail. I really appreciate the feedback. I found similar pictures here and here.

      So pleased to solve a mystery!

      Incidentally, both spiders have disappeared a couple of weeks ago. I’ve no idea whether they died a natural death of old age, or whether something ate them – they were there one day, and gone the next.

  2. We have two if them in our back yard. One of the webs start from the gutter all the way down (about 1.5 meter) to our built up stone flower bed. The 2nd one us from our air-contioner unit on the 2be floor to our washing line.

    We only ever see them at night and this morning was the 1st time we have seen the one just after sunrise…

    Took some pics this morning but wind plays a big factor here.

    Just wondering what kind of spider it is though???

    We have had both for months now…going out and checking if “our” spiders are still there😊

    Any help there would be great.

    • Hello Melody – oh gosh, your spiders are far more *ambitious* than ours ever were! Those sound like extremely large webs!

      Our spiders were rather small – are you sure yours aren’t orb weaver spiders? They tend to create very large and elaborate webs.

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