In a past summer, we raised a fat mama Argiope aurantia spider in our terrarium tank. She laid a big, fat egg sac and then, once she’d shrunk down to a smaller size, she was eaten by a praying mantis, poor thing.

Well, that’s a metaphor for motherhood, I’m sure.

Last night, we caught another A. aurantia on the Serpentine Prairie. They’re orb weavers, building big webs in the grassy meadow, often strung between tall grass stalks or other prairie plants. The grassy prairie crackles with grasshoppers like a pan full of popcorn, and the spiders have plenty to eat.

Our spider, another fat female probably ready to become a mother, as our green lynx did last night, has settled into her new home, spinning a small web for herself.

Argiope aurantia, Oakland

Argiope aurantia in her native habitat.

Argiope abdomen detailArgiope abdomen 2Argiope cephalothoraxArgiope abdomen side viewArgiope spiny leg detail

Argiope aurantia

A spider in the hand is worth two in the bush!

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