We show you now the full series of image captures of our Black and Yellow Argiope spider, after this grasshopper jumped into her web, and became entangled and stuck there. This female Black and Yellow had been stationed at the top of her web. I was right there, very close to the web, for more than 1/2 an hour. I was waiting to see what she would do when prey got caught in her web.
Once the grasshopper was trapped in the web, it’s struggling vibrated the entire web, and that’s when she rushed down to secure this hapless prey. She did not make contact with the grasshopper immediately. She did speedily wrap the grasshopper in new web silk, as you see in the top image.
In the second image, Mrs. Argiope now has the grasshopper fully wrapped with web, rendering it motionless.
In the 3rd image, Argiope now comes and makes contact with the traumatized prey, and in the last image, either injects venom in the prey or begin to consume the prey.
I was at the Powdermill Refuge Reserve in Rector, Pennsylvania. Owned and used for aviary research by the Pittsburgh Museum of Natural History, their several thousand acres in the lush Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania is an excellent refuge reserve.
Not for the faint of heart, yes, but I hope that the complexity of this series fascinates you as much as it does me. I’ve mistakenly walked into many Black and Yellow Argiope webs over these years, to my momentary Horror, but have never been mistreated by these ladies, though I destroyed their lengthy nighttime work!
I can also report that the webs of northern Black and Yellows taste no different from those of southern USA Black and Yellows, truth be told.