I enjoy being in the yard when it is nice outside. This morning, I was planning a fall lesson that uses fall leaves to make butterflies. I was picking some leaves and turned around just in time to keep from walking into a spider web. And then, I saw the spider! I have heard about these spiders, but have never seen one in real life!
I love God’s wonderful creation and all things nature, including snakes and spiders! This is a “crab-like orb weaver.” This is not to be confused with a crab spider. They are two very different spiders.
I love learning, so I had to come inside and do a little research on this spider. After reading the information, I am a bit surprised to see her (this is a female) this time of year. These spiders die right after laying eggs, usually in the spring.
These spiders are quite common throughout the southern United States. They are known by many names, including happy face spiders. They are called orb weavers because they have these beautiful, almost perfect orb or wheel-like webs.
I am not sure it can be seen in this smaller version of the photo, but the web is quite visible in this picture. When I learned that she lays eggs under a leaf near the web, I went back out to take a closer look and see if I could find any eggs, or the male version of this little brilliant yellow beauty. I had no success in finding either.
The male may be even harder to spot than the female. He comes to her web and send vibrations to let her know he is there. If she chooses to allow him to stay, they breed and he dies within the week.