Well, Gary has his Webnsday and I won’t probably keep this going as faithfully as he has but I have become a bit more interested in Arachnids.
Shamrock Orbweaver- Araneus trifolium.
So this dreamboat decided to inhabit our bee balm, maybe to compete with the Nursery Web spider, or maybe it even ate that spider before claiming the territory. It is much larger, I spotted it from across the yard when I swept through with my large flashlight while out with Bentley after dark, and looks pretty creepy with those hairy legs. This was not the first shot, but all the others had it facing down so the head and eyes could not be seen. Something tickled the web and he/she turned to check it out.
They generally are not out during the day, much like the White Micrathena and Arboreal Orbweaver I posted previously, and come out to spin a new web each evening. During the day, like with the Arboreal Orbweaver, they usually curl up inside a leaf that they have pulled closed with some webbing.
Several years ago I hung out with an entomologist during the summer, the author of Kaufman’s Field Guide to the Insects, Eric Eaton. The book is a good general reference when getting started with insects. One time while out he noticed a curled leaf and said it possibly was the overnight home to a spider. We opened it up, something I no longer would do, and discovered a Shamrock inside .
While the lighting is better in the second, I’d rather capture them out naturally even if the flash creates a few hot spots.