Orb-weaver (not for the bug phobic)


To me, the most striking thing about macro-photography is the narrow depth of field. Sometimes (as in the penultimate moment of a life-death struggle shown below the fold) the entire depth of field is maybe one-tenth of an inch.

I posted on Facebook that “No animals or insects were harmed in this production.” To which my sister replied: “Too bad.” I believe the spider is an orb-weaver. It’s maybe 0.75 inches long. I took its picture as it hung motionless on its web waiting for prey outside my family room window. Things would have been a bit sharper if the window were a bit cleaner.



Version 2

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

5 thoughts on “Orb-weaver (not for the bug phobic)”

  1. It looks like a European garden spider or cross spider (which is a species of orb weaver; despite the name they are common in North America). The name "cross spider" comes from the cross-like markings that they often have on the other side from the one pictured here.

      1. They like to put their egg sacs on the outside screen of our kitchen window. They eventually hatch and barely visible tiny spiderlings crawl out all over.

        1. Hmm, based on various websites, I think the egg sacs I'm thinking of were actually for a different species.

  2. …looks like the spider was pretty busy harming an insect, even if you weren't. These are useful spiders; they keep various pests down.

Comments are closed.