2006-10-1 Araneus diadematus (Cross Orbweaver) 1
Cross Orb-Weaver (Araneus diadematus) Spider, aka Cross Spider and European Garden Spider, eating a grasshopper - Third Lake, IL - 1 October 2006
Fall 2009: We were proud to have this image displayed at The Independence Grove Visitors Center of the Lake County (IL) Forest Preserve District as part of the Animal Architects exhibit.
This spider gave us great entertainment over a 3-week period outside our kitchen window. He/she would build the web each day over a 2-3 hour period. Our observation was that the web would become damaged due to rain or morning dew . . . the spider would then consume the remains of the current web, and then start the web-building process all over again. This particular web was very messy and uneven, the product of a very windy day. On still days, the web was large (~ 18" wide x 24" tall), oval, and very symmetrical.
This is one of many images we took during a Sunday afternoon . . . a grasshopper had mistakenly flown / jumped into the web. The carcass was quickly wrapped in the first few minutes, but it took the spider many hours to disgest the 'juices' and leave behind shrivelled remains that had no resemblence to a grasshopper.