For once, the YouTube algorithm is working in my favor. It’s currently saying “Oh, so you like big spiders, do you?” every time I check in, which is factually true, so I keep seeing spectacular Argiope behaviors.
This one tickled me because I have vivid memories of seeing my first Cicada Killer, the Most Terrifying Wasp in the World, as a child. It was perched on a tree branch in my back yard, and it was swiftly and brutally dismembering a cicada, the Most Obnoxiously Noisy Insect in the World, and it was mesmerizing. It would just tear into it sloppily with its mandibles, slurping down slimy crunchy bits, and scraps of chiting and fragments of body parts were raining down out of the tree. I swore I’d never go near one of those monsters.
Yet here’s Argiope, my hero, neatly turning a Cicada Killer into lunch.
The camera work isn’t great, but you can see how effective Argiope‘s web spinning is — she isn’t tying up her prey with single threads, but with these broad ribbons of silk. I’ve seen them immobilize a large grasshopper in seconds.