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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

GARDEN FRIEND

Our Good Garden Friend
Photo Taken in My Garden
Wolf Spider
 Pordosa milvina (?)
The large wolf spider, pictured above, was photographed while  running through our garden. It is a female about the size of a fifty cent piece, without the sac. That big light-colored sac she is always hauling around is full of Wolf Spider eggs.


Ms Wolf Spider knows when the eggs have reached maturity. At that point she rips open the silk sac and out spills about a hundred babies -- that quickly crawl on her back -- sometimes positioning themselves in layers so they have enough room for everyone.  They ride on her back for about a week and then she releases them so they can fend for themselves. 


Female Wolf Spiders are known for their care of their offspring.



If you like to work outside, especially in a garden, you undoubtedly have become acquainted with this friend.of the natural world. There are 2,500 species world wide.

They mainly live outdoors but occasionally work themselves into a home. They are shy and will run from you especially if confronted. They rarely bite but if they do so it is not considered serious unless you are allergic. 



The spider's diet includes flea hoppers, insect eggs, crickets, locusts, ants and other spiders.  Overall spiders are beneficial to the ecosystem. 

When we know the behavior of an animal, such as a spider, we can feel comfortable when we meet them in nature. 

RESOURCES:



22 comments:

  1. Wow, she's quite a girl! I love to photograph spiders when I find them. Most don't want to be still long enough though!

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  2. Interesting facts and really a great picture. I am sure I have run across these before, but didn't stick around to take a gander!

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  3. I am terrified of spiders... interesting info to read about, but if I would have run across her in my garden, I would have freaked out!!!

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  4. MamaBug -- I used to be afraid of these large spiders until I took the time to understand their place in nature. Now I greatly respect them. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  5. Farmchick -- I used to be the same way. Actually now I find them quite beautiful. Thanks for stopping by -- barbara

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  6. Stephanie -- I know -- spiders do scare lots of people. Just respect them if you are afraid and let them go their way. Thanks for stopping by -- barbara

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  7. Barbara,
    I notice these spiders in our garden each year carrying the sack. Will have to try and observe them with the young hanging out with mom. Interesting post thanks.

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  8. Shudder! That is one ugly spider (sorry, it's innate for me to dislike them)

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  9. I was advised so long ago I don't know who said it, to learn something new every day. It then became a joke to say, well, I learned X so I can go back to bed now. I've learned about Wolf Spiders, in general I am very ignorant about spiders, but not afraid of them. So I guess I can go back to bed now.

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  10. They are quite amazing, and their size makes them a bit frightening.

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  11. Neat post, Barbara! And I agree that getting to know a critter (or at least about them) can go a long way to eliminating our fear and/or loathing of them, or at least replace it with respect or fascination.

    At first glance, the wolf spider in your photo resembled a gray starfish on the beach! :-) I love the image of all her new babies pilling up on her back, jockeying for position so that everyone can catch a lift!

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  12. Grampy -- I too would like to catch them on her back. Or better yet, for me, her ripping open the sac and seeing them pour out. Would be fascinating. -- barbara

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  13. June, Spiders are intriguing. I do not know a whole lot about them either. Would like to learn more. Like your idea that to learn something new every day means you can go back to bed every day after you have learned it. Thanks -- barbara

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  14. Tess -- Spiders are like some people I know -- they just want to be left alone. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  15. Laloofah -- Thanks you for the very nice comment about Ms Wolf Spider. I feel we need to conserve all we have left of nature right down to the (for some folks) scary guys. -- barbara

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  16. We once had a problem with Black Widow spiders. Dad caught one and pickled it in alcohol. I took it to school and showed it to my fifth grade classmates. Most of them knew to beware of the black spider with the red hourglass on its belly. I still watch out for them although I seldom see them anymore.

    Unfortunately, where I live in the city it is necessary to have an exterminator spray quarterly for insects like ants and some of the spiders die too. He assures me it does not harm the butterflies, but I don't know if that is true, although I do see many of them in later summer. He sprays selectively near the foundation of the house. Areas with pots of plants are not touched as this is where the butterfiles and hummingbirds feed.

    I don't know if slective spraying makes a difference, but I am no longer overrun by ants, which I detest as they get into my bird cages.

    I like spiders well enough especially if they attack insects that harm my flowers. They are okay around here as long as they do not nest near the foundation of the house.

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  17. I often see spiders with egg sacs while working in the garden. Thanks for the nice post!

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  18. Horsin Around -- You must have a healthy garden. All the pregnant spiders seem to indicate that is so. Bet you have a great garden -- barbara

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  19. Dianne -- We have lots of Black Widow spiders here and I surly respect their rights. They certainly are beautiful with their shiny black bodies. I usually move them to my field where they hopefully will stay. They do like my garden but they don't attack me when I find them. Like most spiders around here they are shy and rather be left alone. I do leave them alone except to move them. Thanks for stopping by -- barbara

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  20. Wolf spiders are the most caring mommy spiders in the world - yet for me, they're the creepiest. They should always be out on the gardens because they're like natural insecticides - feeding on crickets and insects that usually ruin our garden plants. Source: http://www.wolfspiders.org/

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  21. Michael -- Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. At one time I thought all spiders were creepy but as I have slowly gotten used to their behavior, colorations, etc I have come to think them as quite beautiful. You are absolutely right -- wolf spiders are fantastic controllers of the the insect populations (and some spiders too). Thanks for stopping by -- barbara

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