Sunday, March 13, 2011

Grandmommy Longlegs

This is a guest blog from Roy Merritt at Namwianga (with my comments at the end).

As our rainy season drips to its end, insects are preparing for the long dry.

We have had our wettest season in years. After the last storm, our dam’s main spillway flooded and water flowed over our emergency spillway for the first time. Even that wasn’t enough relief, and water eventually lapped over the top of the main dam wall. It’s an earth dam, so we are grateful it wasn’t damaged.

These two ladies are hatching little ones who will protect us from assorted bugs till rains come back.

Gibson (one of the boys at Eric's House) found this one for me, a granny wearing black with yellow polka dots. I have shown her life-size here, her abdomen about the size of an egg yolk.
I’ve never seen one like this before. If anyone out there knows what kind this is, please tell me.

This is a female grandaddy longlegs hauling an egg basket, busy hatching scrawny little newcomers.

Linda here: Seeing these pictures brings back lots of memories for me. When we took down the things off our walls last March as we got ready to move, we found the remnants of spider nests on almost every single item! No wonder we had eight-legged critters everywhere!

We had been told that the wall spiders were harmless and actually helpful--supposedly they eat the mosquitoes. However, after five years of co-existing with the wall spiders, I had to admit I had never seen a spider eat a mosquito and it seemed that we had plenty of mosquitoes to go around anyway. We still advised our guests to leave the spiders alone as long as they were on the walls, but any critters who dared hit the floor were fair game for a smashing.

I personally think live and let live has its limits when it comes to spiders (but don't tell Roy!).

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