Mary has been away the last few weeks, helping Skatje and Kyle handle a ravening, demanding 15-month old, Iliana. She finally got back home last night, and she brought me a present! It was a spider. No one is surprised.
Well, I was, a little bit. Spiders show so much variation — I’m pretty sure this is Steatoda triangulosa, as it’s obviously a theridiidid, and it’s got that pretty pair of zig-zag stripes down the abdomen, but it’s so golden, and it’s got more zigs than I usually see in S. triangulosa here in Minnesota, and the patterns break up in a messy and different way. Species are so goddamned complicated. Why did I ever leave my nice, inbred, isolated zebrafish?
Anyway, she was guarding a nest in my daughter’s garage, and Mary brought back 6 egg sacs, all of the fluffy type we see with S. triangulosa. Most, probably all, are hatched out, but I’ll find out when I take them into the lab later.