Thursday, October 4, 2007

A beautiful spider

This is known as a Lynx spider. I found this spider on one of our roses the day before Red and I took off on vacation. This is what it looked like on the 21st of August. Not much to speak of except it had such long legs and such a green body.

This is what the spider looked like when Red and I returned from vacation. This photo was taken on September 3 (Labor Day). What a difference! If you click on this photo to enlarge it you will see this spider is eating a bee. It still has the long green legs, but look at its back. Isn't it beautiful? Well, at least I thought it was beautiful - and considerably larger than the first photo.

Here is another shot of the spider on the same rose when I first found it in August. Notice the webby type of material encasing the rose. As you can see the rose should have fallen off by now, or we should have removed it (deadheaded it), but I pointed out to my husband that he was not to deadhead that particular rose for obvious reasons. Of course, I still did not know what this spider was, and I did not know if it was considered a beneficial "bug" or not. This photo was taken only two days later than the previous one - September 5. Notice the spider seems to look a little bigger in the body than the one taken on Sep 3.

This was taken on September 7. It looks like more webby material encasing the rose.

And here is what I found a week later, September 15. A much thinner looking spider with an egg sac. By now I really wanted to know what kind of spider I was dealing with. So I googled spiders, and found that this may look like a "flower" spider. I continued to search under flower spiders, but it didn't quite look like the photos I saw on the internet. I then found an email address of someone at UC Davis, wrote to her and asked if she could help me ID this spider and let me know if it is beneficial or not. I received an email response the next day and found that it was a Lynx spider. So I then googled "lynx spider" to see what other info I could learn about these critters. Quite fascinating info. I found that they are called lynx because they jump on their prey, much like a cat would do. They eat other bugs as well as bees.

And here is momma spider on September 25, still protecting her egg sac. Notice she moved it from the rose onto a rose leaf. You will also note that the egg sac is no longer as spiky and green as before. It now looks dried out and kinda brownish. I checked on her again today when I came home from work. She still looks the same, and the sac looks the same, too. Another piece of info I learned was that these eggs will take two weeks to hatch, but they stay inside the sac for another two weeks. And momma spider feeds them through the sac until they have their first molt. Then they should emerge. So I guess I have about another week to see if I get the chance to watch the little spiderlings emerge.


mon@rch said...

such a cool spider and great post!

Martha said...

Great pictures and information, Mary.

Lynne said...

That's a beautiful spider Mary. Thanks for doing th research and sharing it's growth. I hope you'll update us when the sack opens!

RuthieJ said...

Wow Mary, that's a pretty amazing story. It's nice to have a "natural" (not chemical) insecticide for your roses, isn't it?

Q said...

Hi Mary,
A beautiful spider!
Thank you for the information.
I have never seen a Lynx Spider.
Very beautiful indeed!
Watching her grow was very fun. I will look forward to seeing her babies.

Anonymous said...

You have some great photos in this batch. I'd not heard of a lynx spider either.

Birdfreak said...

That is one cool spider! It is actually more beautiful than scary!

Mary C said...

Thanks, everyone. One thing I forgot to mention in my post is that lynx spiders are usually found in the southern half of the U.S. So, those of you farther north would most likely not see this spider - although I would think there must be a spider similar to it found in the northern half of the country. I am still waiting to see little spiderlings. Call me impatient. ;o)

LostRoses said...

Mary, until I started reading garden blogs, I had no idea there were so many different spiders in our gardens. Maybe it's because I usually look the other way! First a crab spider on Digging and now a Lynx spider. What next? Good photos, poor rose!

Montucky said...

What a beautiful spider! That's the first photo I've seen of one.


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