With great sorrow, I must report the passing of a member of the lab family. This beautiful golden spider my wife caught in Colorado in January of 2020 is no more. She was the wrong species, Steatoda triangulosa, for the work I’m trying to do, but I kept her around because she was lovely and vivacious, with her golden color and zig-zag stripes, and she was always eager to kill anything I put in her cage. She’s so pretty her picture is my cell phone screen.
I’d noticed she was a bit lethargic lately, and wouldn’t respond to flies in her web. Yesterday, she was slumped low in her cobweb — they usually favor a high position — and was only feebly responsive to a gentle touch. Today, I found her corpse lying on the floor, legs curled inward.
It’d been a year and a quarter since she was caught as a fully grown adult, so she may have been a year and a half, possibly even just shy of two years old. That’s a long, long life for these little spiders.