Tuesday, September 11, 2012

An orbweaver with dinner

Banded Argiope (Argiope trifasciata)

A few weeks ago I realized that I hadn't seen any orbweaver spiders in the tall grass this year. In previous years you had to be careful where you walked in case you bumped into a Black-and-yellow garden spider's web but this year I haven't seen a single one. I have finally found a few other orbweavers though. I've notice 4 Banded Argiopes in the 2010 bushy area. Above is a picture of one of them making a meal out of a grasshopper.

The white flowers in the picture are Hoary Alyssum. It is quite common this year as it does well in dry conditions. It has 4 petals (like all other plants in the mustard family) but they are so deeply notched they seem like 8 petals. It is an invasive weed from Europe. For the longest time I didn't know what it was called and couldn't find it in my Wildflowers of Ontario guide or online, but today I finally identified it (thank-you Google Images).

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