Male Cobweb Weaver Spider

2015 October 21

I found this little spider hanging around the porch light on June 13, 2015. I’m not sure he was actually drawn to the light, though – he more likely was drawn by the other insects that were coming to the light (or maybe by the female spiders that were drawn by the insects that came to the light).

From the slim build and prominent pedipalps, this is pretty clearly a “he”.

If we look at the front edge of his abdomen, we can see a pale “cross”.

This looks a lot like what we see on one of the most locally-common spider species, the cobweb weaver Steatoda borealis. We’ve seen these before, although judging from the males in those previous posts it looks like they vary quite a lot in size, from nearly as plump as the females, to positively svelte like this one. Since the males spend a lot of their adult lives roaming around looking for females, it wouldn’t surprise me if they fatten themselves up as much as possible before they mature, and then mainly run on their fat reserves during their wandering days. That would mean that the plump ones are the young fellows, and the skinny ones like this one are older.

One Response
  1. October 22, 2015

    An interesting observation about fattening up before going out cruising for chicks. Kind of like the way stags fatten up so they can concentrate on fighting and mating in fall.

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