Spiderlings scatter when scared

In The Ranger’s back garden today, the season’s crop of spiderlings have hatched and are soaking up the sun:

Spiderlings

These tiny creatures, probably Araneus diadematus, with a body size of no more than 1mm, cluster together on the threads they weave for a few days after hatching before they go their own separate ways.

Spiderlings

Look more closely – like most baby animals they have a certain cuteness!

Spiderling photographed by Cat James using USB microscope.

Spiderling photographed by Cat using USB microscope. No spiders were harmed in the taking of this photograph.

But one characteristic of this little ball of siblings is that the group will very quickly scatter if any disturbance occurs. This is a protective mechanism to try to confuse a pecking bird or similar predator. To demonstrate this, The Ranger recruited his companion the Cat to wield a handy stick:

4 thoughts on “Spiderlings scatter when scared

  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    I noticed a strange patch of tiny yellow spiderlings clustered around the keyhole of my car, and wondered what they were. I was reluctant to disturb them until I found out what they were, so I Googled “tiny yellow spider black marking” and it threw up Araneus diadematus. I shall leave them alone to disperse, I just hope they survive the thunderstorms we are expecting, and the ravages of the local birds.

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  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    I recently spotted an adult spider in my garden, very kindly identified by the Ranger as an “Araneus Diadematus”. He also said that its common name is the Garden Cross Spider, so called because of the white cross on his back, is usually massive this time of year and loves craneflies. My spider was certainly pretty large, and happily wrapping up a fly for later.

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  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    how cruel poking babies with a stick !
    i found a batch of babies on my fence and have had to stop painting until they flee their home
    but i will not be poking them away!!”

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  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    Cool! I have a batch of Araniella cucurbitina spiderlings just hatched under the rim of a garden pot, they were all crammed in, almost a bit reluctant to leave home. I found an adult male cucurbitina close by, he is remarkably handsome with his bright, almost marker pen like flourescent green abdomen with a red spot on his bum! He is also known as the cucumber spider.. very cute babies!

    Reply

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