Where Have All the Argiopes Gone?

Black and Yellow Argiope Spider photographed in  Raystown Lake, PA
Yes, there are fewer and fewer shopping days left before Christmas and Chanukah is a day away. We are time challenged to doing it all, and everyday, mundane stuff just can’t be suffered. Still, striving to keep our minds fertile and challenged, comes this question, Where have all of the Black and Yellow Argiopes gone?

Do these large spiders spend the winter in cavities found in trees? Have they slipped into the living quarters of Native Americans since time immemorial, and are they now hidden in that crack in your neighbor’s foundation? Do impregnated females spend the winter tucked away in corners of squirrel’s nests? Or, have they for centuries joined hundreds of thousands of their species, in a march to Florida, that begins taking shape in late September?

What these colorful spiders do is, the females produce a sac, place their fertilized eggs in the sac, and then all of these mothers . . . die. Those eggs hatch, and the spiderlings in each sac stay in  the sac, throughout the winter. No LL Bean thinsulate-lined outerwear for them. With Spring 2015 fully established, they leave the sac, and find their new home.

Adult will grow, and yes, they will prey upon butterflies. So it has alway been.


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