This list poem was inspired by the large, beautiful spiders that I find outside my home this time of year. I posted early-morning pictures of one in her web the other day, and at the bottom of this post I have a close-up photo of one of her sisters. (I left a bit of space before the photo so readers don’t have to see it if they don’t want to.)
French arachnologist Eugène Simon authored the genus name Neoscona in 1864.
The literal Greek translation is something like “spinning a reed,” but Simon was only 16 years old at the time and did not speak Greek very well.
His intended meaning was “spinning among the reeds,” since he had seen the spiders living near the water’s edge.
As for crucifera, the Latin translation would be “cross bearer,” from cruci- (cross) and fer- (to bear; carry). This species does have a pale cross pattern on its abdomen.
The spider occupies the hub (center) of the web, hanging head down, during the night; it usually hides during the day, though in late summer or fall it may spend some daylight hours in the web as well.
Females deposit eggs in late summer or early fall; the egg sac is made of fluffy yellow or orange silk, attached to a rolled up leaf or some other protected place.
Spiderlings emerge the following spring and remain clumped together for a day or two, after which they disperse.
Some “balloon” to other locations by riding the air currents, while others stay relatively close to where they were “born.”
Even the spiderlings create a very cute, tiny, orb-shaped web.
This lovely lady was busy catching flying insects outside my window this morning.