Oh, no. My daughter and granddaughter are coming to visit for a week on Friday, and my wife has decided we have to make a more baby-friendly home. Which means…THE SPIDERS MUST GO. I tell her that the spiders were here first, so maybe it’s the baby who should make accommodations. That didn’t work. The baby will need to learn to love spiders eventually, so why not start early? No go. Maybe the baby would like to learn spider-catching technique, so you’re depriving her of a learning opportunity. Nope. So Mary’s been out in the sun room, destroying a happy, loving community by scooping up spiders and their many egg sacs, and has brought them to me. At least I’ve got a nice home for them in the lab.
Look at that lovely lady! I’m seeing more of these paler morphs lately, and I don’t know if it’s seasonal, a side-effect of frequently distended abdomens during laying season, or just a particular genetic strain. I’m thinking a good project for a student this Fall will be to photographically document the pigment patterns on the spider abdomens in our colony, and try to correlate those with pigment patterns in their offspring.
They’re also beautiful, you know. Beauty is a major plus in any scientific endeavor.