Busy morning. They’re only going to get busier.

One of the things I got done today was to assemble of set of my Spiderđź•· Studios™️, Mk II this time, with thinner papers and small tabs of tape. As you can see, once I’ve got spiders and their webs inside, I can use the helping hands to hold the hoops in any orientation I want.

I had to get them ready today because…see the small box? What’s in the box? Not Gwyneth Paltrow’s head, although it might fit. You might see a small mottled ball in the box — that’s a Steatoda triangulosa egg sac, and the mottling is caused by the embryos maturing enough to have black legs on their pale bodies. The legs are twitching (maybe they’re dreaming?) so their emergence is imminent, and I need to promptly set up the babies so I can document pigment changes over the next few weeks.

Really, it’s all just playing with office paper, a paper cutter, and time tape. It won’t be real science until I progress to duct tape, hot glue, and cardboard.


  1. says

    That’s not just “real science” that’s real engineering too. Anytime I fix a machine with cardboard and tape, I make sure to sign it. Some other poor tech down the road is going to see it and be like “Who the fuck is Ray?”.

  2. hemidactylus says

    The Seek app is telling me the perv watching me shower is a wall crab spider aka flattie ( Selenops submaculosus ). If it’s dreaming I hope not about my showering. A while back I found another one in my spare room on a wall (of course).

    I saw a juvenile ringneck snake on my patio next to the A/C drain a few days ago. I didn’t need Seek for that ID. There are some long-jawed orb weavers out there too.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Their dreaming is what summons the universe into existence.
    Question: How do you assemble this without the tape attaching to the wrong things while the glue on your fingers stick to papers, textiles and the odd body part?
    That is why I am useless at crafts. Hammers and wood are easier, but have more potential to shed blood if I get distracted.
    För really big spiders, use the bogus prison cage they used at CPAC.
    (The guy in orange jumpsuit doing performance art inside was a Brandon Straka who avoided prison time by informing on other rioters and identifying at least one rioter the FBI did not know about)

  4. moarscienceplz says

    So, when I double-tap on the pic to enlarge it, the first thing I see behind the spider-wrangling equipment is, “One Touch & Easy Cook” on the microwave oven.

  5. Larry says

    So, you spiders won’t breed and obey the Doctor, eh? Well, let me introduce you to my new lil’ fren, Mr. Microwave. Let’s see what 10 seconds on high does to your willful intransigence. [maniacal laughter]

  6. fishy says

    I need a costume and a head on that armature, a little stop-motion animation. and wham-bang internet gold.

  7. says

    I see lots of crab spiders around here, usually Philodromus. Florida probably has more exotic tropical spiders, which is the only possible reason anyone would ever want to live there.

    There is no glue used in the construction of these things, only time tape.

    Time tape is wonderfully useful, and I have many rolls in many different colors. I used white and off white paper because I’m going to be photographing subjects within the loop and don’t want odd-colored reflections.

    The microwave just happened to be at the back of the bench I was using. I only use it for melting gelatin or agar. It’s ancient, inherited from a colleague who moved on, and it’s some weird brand, “Magic Chef”. Spiders are not ever subject to microwaving.

    Stop motion? No way. I’m hoping it will simplify lining up spiders so much I just need to take a single shot.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    The kind of spiders that turn up in my nightmares, you only get time to take a single shot.

  9. ospalh says

    “ What’s in the box?”
    Am i the only one who thinks “Pain.” to that question?
    Dune, not Seven.

  10. blf says

    What’s in the [small] box? Not Gwyneth Paltrow’s head, although it might fit.

    Not entirely sure about said head, but any brain it possibly contains would fit — but, after placing it in the box, would you ever be able to find it again? (Keep in mind it seems to keep shrinking, so being able to find it today does not mean you’d be able to find it again tomorrow.) And why such an oversized — to contain that particular hypothetical brain — box, albeit a suitably-sized box would itself be likely lost, and rather difficult to open, etc. Of course, if you do fail to solve any of these non-problems, you could sell the boxes via a Goop-like online fraud for a few thousand dollars each, as long as they are “quantum”, contain “crystal (energy)”, “vibrate”, etc., and are recommended by Drquack Oz or Oprah. Any spiders inside would be a “free bonus”, a “wonderful surprise” (no batteries required, but do not insert into your body).