A spider banquet!

Now that spring is actually here — blue skies, balmy weather, all that stuff — and I no longer have classes to worry about, I’m getting back into the habit of going for a daily walk. As you might expect, I take this as an opportunity to look for spiders.

There is no significant spider presence yet.

However, as a portent for the future, look at all the spider food (some might call them mayflies) I spotted clinging to walls around town!

Big deal, you might say, I saw a few bugs. Let’s step back a moment and look at the big picture.

All those speckles and dots? Mayflies. The entire town is covered with mayflies. As I walked along, I could just put my foot on a patch of grass and a cloud of gnats, midges, and flies would rise up.

I’m hoping that this will be a great summer for spiders.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    The worst part of the spider buffet are the sand flies that make the Scandinavian mountains unendurable during summer. And they are too small to be kept out by mosquito nets.

  2. microraptor says

    Are there any spiders in the US big enough to eat the cicadas that are going to emerge this year?

  3. mordred says

    @3 A relative of mine visited Scandinavia some years ago. The insects were all he ever talked about when talking about the trip.

  4. lasius says

    These look like subimagines.

    Fun fact: mayflies are the only insects that molt while already having functional wings, from the subimago to the imago. Though some groups skip the imago in females.

  5. lasius says


    Are you sure the ones in Scandinavia are sandflies? I have never heard that sandflies would be a problem that far to the north. They are normally a tropical or subtropical group.

  6. Tethys says

    Sand flies have a global distribution, but the swarms of biting insects in the far north are usually gnats/black flies, and biting midges.

    They are voracious.

  7. lasius says

    Actually sandflies (Phlebotominae) don’t occur in northern Europe and Iceland. Where I live in northern Germany there aren’t any.

  8. Tethys says

    I’m assuming sand flies is just a common name just like ‘no see um’s’. They are especially dense around lakeshores and other bodies of water, so they get associated with sandy shores.

    There is also a species of chiggar that is called a sand flea, despite not being a flea or a fly.

  9. Michael Suttkus says

    You call that “covered in mayflies”? Come to the south in mayfly season if you want to see “covered in mayflies”. Or do a google image search for the phrase.

    You’d love it here! Not only do we have more bugs in general, we have more and larger spiders! And we love brainless invertebrates so much that we keep electing them to office!

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