|Two long-jawed orb-weavers in my garden.|
The plot is only about a square meter, but these plants provide habitat and hunting grounds for numerous orb-weavers, jumping spiders, and funnel-web spiders. It's a treat to find an argiope or a goldenrod spider in these places. They may be deadly to insects, but they're a beautiful part of the ecosystem.
In the first photo you can see, in the lower left, a long-jawed orb weaver. If you look to the upper right, you'll see another.
Here's what happened: a small biting fly landed on my leg while I was watching the spiders, and it bit me. I flicked it off, and it landed on this web. For a moment, the spiders did nothing while the fly tried to disentangle itself. I couldn't help thinking of karma.
|One spider rushed in to seize the other when it went for the fly.|
In the third photo you can see that the spiders are entirely engrossed with each other, while the fly is being ignored by them. The two spiders remained tangled like this for a while, without moving. Eventually, I was being bitten by too many flies and so I left.
Half an hour later I came back with my camera to see how it had gone. I was sure the spider that built the web would be dead, since it appeared to have been at a disadvantage in the fight.
|Here they are ignoring the fly and grappling with each other.|
The best part of this is discovering something new that was going on in my own garden about which I know next to nothing. Since then I've been poring over books and doing web searches when I have spare time. If you know more about this species and what was going on here, I'd love to hear from you.
|And then they returned to their earlier positions.|