Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Spider, Again!

I think I have finally decided that the spider is a Barn Spider. After my last post, Lisa suggested we name the spider Charlotte, which spurred the "heated" conversation between Dan the Man and I about what kind of spider was Charlotte in "Charlotte's Web." Dan the Man is convinced that Charlotte is a Black Widow. I say no way! So I did a search on Google to prove him wrong.

Let me just say this about Dan the Man and his spider knowledge... every black spider that Dan the Man sees, he thinks is a Black Widow. Dan the Man has never ever even seen a Black Widow before, but if the spider is black, he is convinced that the spider is a Black Widow!

With that being said, I did a search on what kind of spider is Charlotte in "Charlotte's Web." The general consensus is that she is a Barn Spider. This knowledge sent me on another search for Barn Spider where I found this picture which looks just like my spider when it was on the chair.

Wikipedia Picture

My Picture

My Picture

Here is the link to the Wikipedia page concerning Barn Spiders.

Barn Spider - Wikipedia

Last night after we got done irrigating I went to check on Charlotte to see what she might be eating for dinner. We still hadn't eaten and I was wondering if she might have any ideas. She was actually out on her web! AND... there is a little baby spider by her too! How cute! Too bad I couldn't get a cool picture of the web. It really is neat.

Charlotte out on her web.

"Little Charlotte" or maybe we should name it Wilbur!

Here what Wikipedia has to say about the Barn Spider:

The barn spider (Araneus cavaticus) is a nocturnal, yellow and brown spider with striped legs and a marking on its underside that is typically a black background with two white marks inside the black, although color ranges can be quite magnificent. It is about three quarters of an inch long with a large round abdomen.[1] Like many other species of orb weavers, it takes down its web and rebuilds another web every evening, consuming the silk from the remaining web to conserve its resources.[1] Its "orb" web is the archetypical web that contains symmetrical spokes connected by a spiral inside. They hide during the day and at night will sit in the middle of the web and wait for an insect to land on the web when hunting.

These spiders are aggressive toward each other. They will attack each other if in close quarters, though many may inhabit the same structure or area at any given time. They are most commonly found in rafters and wooden structures in suburban and rural structures or areas, and on boats near lakes, thus getting their name, "barn spider".

They are mostly found in North America in late summer and through autumn. Barn spiders are most common in the Northeast US and Canada.

When agitated (by a puff of air, for instance) these spiders sometimes bounce up and down in the center of their webs, possibly in an attempt to look larger and more threatening. This reaction could be due to its response to vibrations in the web when prey is trapped. The Barn Spider will shake or sway the web to instigate further reaction from the prey caught within the web or to confirm that it was debris or other environmental disturbances (fallen leaves, sticks, etc.). If the spider senses a likely meal has been caught they will move to it and immediately begin wrapping it with silk.[1]

This spider was made well-known in the book Charlotte's Web by American writer E. B. White, with a particularly interesting point that the spider's full name is Charlotte A. Cavatica, a reference to the barn spider's scientific name, Araneus cavaticus. Also, one of Charlotte's daughters, after asking what her mother's middle initial was, names herself Aranea; which ties in with the Order in which this spider is classified.

So interesting. And there you go, today's zoology lesson.

Good bye, that's all I have to say about that. Dan the Man is yelling (that might be a strong word, he really doesn't yell) at me it's time to go to work. Sorry blog land, but I must be off to tend to the chickens.


  1. Very interesting! I sure didn't know they tore down their webs every night. That should keep them busy. Soon you will have a whole colony and they can start fighting with each other! Big entertainment.

  2. Just watched Charlotte's Web for summer school and yes, she was a common barn spider. She tells Wilbur that. FYI, when she laid her egg sack, she had something like 1000 babies! Be prepared! That may be more spiders than you care to have. Of course if she starts writing something like "some blogger" or "terrific Kathi", you may have a hit on your hands!

  3. This cracks me up. It's very interesting that you have a pet spider. Does it spell stuff in it's webs for you?