Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009 -- More Venus News

golf hasn't posted because she was bummed that Venus disappeared in a storm Sunday night, just after Larry had found her and golf got pictures of her and her gorgeous web. But then on Thursday, August 20, Larry found Venus in the tomato garden close to where Ariadne had been most of the summer. At first, Larry and golf weren't sure it was the same spider (and golf was dreading coming up with a name for another spider), but golf checked with her Argiope expert (Jerry Cates of; and with the pictures she sent to him, he confirmed (1) that it would be fairly unusual to have three different Argiopes in their gardens in one summer and (2) the spider in the lily garden, pictured with the web on August 16, is the same spider pictured yesterday in the tomato garden. He assured her of this by pointing out that Venus has unusual coloring on the second left leg, which should be yellow/gold for half the length of the leg and it is not. Click on the pictures below to enlarge them and see the markings as pointed out by the arrows. Then compare the coloring with Ariadne's leg. First picture below is Venus in her new location.

Here is a picture of Ariadne after she laid her eggs and just before she disappeared, with an arrow pointing to her second left leg, and you can see how it is gold for half the length of the leg (the entire first "segment" [?] of her leg):

Now here are the two pictures of Venus, with her new location on the left and the first location on the right, with arrows pointing to her second left leg, so you can see (1) how it is different from Ariadne's and (2) how it is the same in both pictures so it IS the same spider.

So golf is currently a happy camper, now that she has a new spider to track. She's hoping that Venus will also make an egg sac (and hoping she and Larry can find it!) to see what it looks like compared to Ariadne's, as Ariadne's egg sac is an unusual shape and placement for an Argiope aurantia. So we need to see what Venus creates. In the meantime, we hope to watch her increase in size and she fills up with eggs.

In the meantime, I haven't been going anywhere interesting, so this is all you get. golf may go back to St. Thomas next weekend to make a "cigarette and booze run." The next trip should be Maui, starting September 15. Yippee!!

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