Found an interesting colored spider crawling on my arm today. Decided to take a closer look at it and try to get a decent picture of it. I happened to discover the spider while down on campus, but my camera was at home. In the mean time, while trying to keep it from getting too far away, I had a chance to observe some of its behaviors. It stick its back end up in the air and let off silk. Someone I was talking with speculated that it was trying to float away, but it seemed too big to have much of a chance of that. I finally realized that it was letting the silk out and waiting for it to catch on something. At that point it would crawl up the silk to wherever it led. (I discovered this when it crawled up off the stick I was keeping it on towards my face; a line of silk had caught on my hat.) I also realized that this is how the spiders must get their webs across wide spaces. I had tried to imagine how the spiders could managed to build a web across a puddle (to say nothing of the silk/webs that are frequently encountered across trails). It makes a lot more sense to let the silk drift across, then go along it then to somehow carry one end of the silk with the other still attached.
On this Date in...