Saturday, November 10, 2012

First Banana Spider of the Season


It’s that time of year again!  Fall here doesn’t mean falling leaves but the return of the spiders – crab spiders and banana spiders (Argiope appensa). Spotted the first banana spider this season, on a web woven across the deck between the front door and the steps to the grass. 

Banana spider on duty: "Hi, I'm here to block the front entrance."

Banana spiders with their distinctive yellow and black star-shaped markings and cross-shaped stance are stationary – once they make their web, they stay put. I brushed the web away after taking a few pics. I also saw some crab spiders high in one of the avocado trees. Some people in Wailuku mentioned that they are inundated with crab spiders now, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we wake up one day finding a colony of crab spiders on clotheslines, trees, railings, along the roof line, and along the outside walls.

On the other hand, we now have chickens, the chickens of mass destruction… and while they don’t go out every day to scratch and peck, they do a fair bit of damage. 

Chickens on duty: "Walkway is clear."

They dig holes and dig more holes and... yes, uh more holes.. So I’m always filling in the chicken holes after I get them back inside each night.  A friend said that having chickens around means less bugs, including mosquitoes. I’m curious to find out if we have less spiders this fall and winter because of the chickens.
  

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