Cobweb Weaver Couple

2015 October 31

This pair of spiders was hanging out under the eaves near our front door on June 25, 2015. The one on the right is a male, trying to get the female (who owns the web) to take a non-culinary interest in him.

With some difficulty, I was able to get around for a dorsal shot, rather than just of their behinds.

In the process of getting pictures, I startled them enough that they dashed off for shelter. The female went up into her web, ready to defend herself.

Here’s a shot of the underside of her abdomen. The opening just behind her waist is her epigyne, which is where the male will put his pedipalps when they mate.

The male dashed off to my right. Since it wasn’t his web, he didn’t have a spot selected to go to when threatened, so he just hunkered down on the outskirts. He was in a good pose for us to see his enlarged pedipalps.

These are most likely Common House Spiders, Parasteatoda tepidariorum. I’ve photographed the females before, but this is the first time spotting one of the males. For a spider, he is unusually large compared to the female. He’s actually big enough that, if she decided to try to eat him, he might be able to fend her off.

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