Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spiders

My hub hates spiders.

He has never made it all the way through the movie "Arachnophobia".

Occasionally, I will have to get a spider out of the bathtub, temporarily reversing our roles.

Spiders really don't scare me, although I was bitten by a brown recluse many years ago. They are just spiders.

They have their place in the world, just like we do.



From National Geographic News, Christine Dell'Amore, October 21, 2009:

Part of a well-known group of golden orb-weaver spiders—which can spin webs up to three feet (one meter) wide—Nephila komaci was first identified in a South African museum collection in 2000.

N. komaci is likely rare within its small habitats in South Africa and Madagascar, researchers say, and females are much less common than males.

Much is still unknown about the species' biology, but study co-author and spider expert Jonathan Coddington suspects the female evolved her extreme size to thwart smaller predators and to be able to lay more eggs.

In addition, the males are "sort of fanatically monogamous" during their roughly one-year life spans, said Coddington, a senior scientist at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

When ready to mate, a male will usually make his move when the female is molting, he added.

"Her legs are soft and her body's soft, and she can't prevent being inseminated by the male," Coddington said. "Once he's inseminated her, he'll break off his genitalia in hers, thereby plugging her up."

The male, which is left sterile, then drives away other males until he dies.

This strategy should stymie other males' mating attempts—though some females have been found with several dismembered male organs lodged inside them, he said.

Overall, Coddington added, the discovery of this new species is "just further evidence that it's a wonderful world."

You go, girl!

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces. Proverbs 30:28 KJV