Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Spider Conundrum

This morning, as I left through my front screened entrance, I did my routine check of the room, always on the lookout for giant spiders or attacking palmetto bugs (I've encountered both). So first I spotted this three-legged lubber.

How he got in that room when the screened door was closed, I haven't a clue. He is about 2 1/2 inches long. So I don't know how he would have fit through the small crack where the door closes. Maybe there is a tear in some screening that I've missed?

I locked the front door and turned around and opened the screened door, and this is what I was greeted with...

What is that? A giant spider (wolf spider, I gather). To the left of it is a small caterpillar.

Here's a closer shot of the spider...

(It was probably about 1 1/2-2 inches in diameter.)

What's up with that? What happened here? Did this spider just keel over dead of old age or something? I thought maybe it got into some residual bug spray (I think Woodrow sprayed a large spider around the front door a few months ago, as it returned a few hours after having been swept outside with a broom.) However normally when spiders are poisoned, they curl up into a little defensive ball. Look at this guy! It's as if he is reaching out with his front legs.

When I came home, both he and the caterpillar were gone. Woodrow tells me that when he went out the front door today, there was no spider by the front door.

So what happened here? Could it be that the spider wasn't really dead? Maybe he was temporarily paralyzed? Maybe he tried to eat something that poisoned him, froze with paralysis, and then came to and ran off later? What about that caterpillar? Where did it go?

Or maybe a bird spotted the spider and caterpillar there and snagged them for a mid-morning snack?

It's a conundrum that still has me stumped tonight.


Paul Tronman said...

That is a conundrum. I have a feeling a cat is involved!