Saturday, October 8, 2011

Trashline Orb Weaver - A Cool Spider

As spiders go, the trashline orb weaver spiders are rather interesting.  The trashline spiders weave this neat orb web and then decorate it with trash.
Web of a Trashline Orbweaver - Cyclosa turbinata
   The spider's collection of trash contains the remains of prey, other debris, and sometimes their egg sacs.  These decorations hang vertically down the middle of the web.  The orb weaver waits for its prey smack in the center of its web where she blends in well with the trashline.  Her trashline serves very well as camouflage.  These decorations may also help increase prey capture.  For more information see the paper, "Detritus decorations of an orb weaving spider..."
   Now, some of my readers may not like looking at spiders, so I posted mostly pictures of spider webs.  I am not real keen on spiders or spider pictures myself.  Since this isn't a very creepy-looking spider, I couldn't resist posting about her. I do need to post at least one close-up photo of a trashline orbweaver.
Trashline Orbweaver Spider - Cyclosa turbinata
      There are various species of trashline orb weavers, but I believe this one is a Cyclosa turbinata.  This spider conveniently took up trash collecting in a little birch tree in our backyard.
       Here is a picture of the spider's web and the spider blending in with the trashline.           

Here is a picture of the spider just sitting there, waiting.
 Perhaps she is guarding her stash.                                       

Here the spider is adding an insect to its collection
  Her habit is to sit there in the center of the web.  If I disturbed her by approaching too closely, she would move up to a different spot and hang on there.

 I like the angle of this picture of the spiders web...
 It shows the the three-dimensional nature of the trashline.

Do you have trash collectors in your backyard?
We don't mind this one... at least she keeps a neat junkyard.
You might say, "She walks the line".



  1. Dana, you never cease to amaze me with cool stuff. I've never seen this sort of spider, or have I ? It is quite lovely. I think spiders are wonderful to look at. I would have thought that hanging stuff would warn flying insects away from the web. I'll have to re-think that theory.

  2. Sybil,
    It seems counter-intuitive, that the stuff hanging in the web would help catch prey, but sometimes it works to hide in plain sight.
    Our world is an amazing place. I wish I knew everything about it, but then, what fun would there be in exploring and discovering?

  3. I have been searching for information on this spider on the internet for days! I'm glad to finally find information, but now I'm a little sad because I was legitimately beginning to believe I found a new species of spider! Good stuff though!