It’s fuzzy but it’s Spidey!

So exciting to open my kitchen door on 1/27/18 and see my exit blocked by a dangling spider! It is climbing up its web to a Chinese fir. Seems like a warm January though it is actually average. I assume many of you are happily enjoying this most bug-free time of year. For that reason I haven’t shown you the beetles I saw on 1/1/18, snuggled up under dead tree bark, in diapause. But I plan to share them eventually…

Halloween may be over but Phidippus Audax is still out there!

insect jumping spider 3

Halloween may be over but daring jumping spiders are still out there! Meet phidippus audax! (Try saying his name! It’s fun!) Does he look like a little tarantula to you?

insect jumping spider 2

Note identifying yellow dot on top of abdomen/back.

insect jumping spider 4

Per Wikipedia: Phidippus audax is a common jumping spider of North America. It is commonly referred to as the daring jumping spider, or bold jumping spider. The average size of adults ranges from roughly 13–20 millimetres (0.51–0.79 in) in length. They are typically black with a pattern of spots and stripes on their abdomen and legs.

A caterpillar’s silk thread makes most of the silk we wear. What about spider silk?

insect caterpillar web

This caterpillar was spinning in the wind, hanging from its own silk thread. It was climbing back  up to who knows where.

Most silk used for clothing comes from silkworms or moth caterpillars, whose larvae produce silk to form cocoons. 

After decades of trying, scientists may have finally found a way to make body armor out of spider silk. Aside from being very cool, this would mean ultra-lightweight, super-strong, flexible body armor that would provide highly improved protection for America’s soldiers and law enforcement officers.

And in case you’ve forgotten, caterpillars are insects! Like all insects, caterpillars have six legs emerging from their thorax. The problem is they also have stumpy prolegs that emerge from their abdomen. Technically these are not true legs, even though they have the same function.