Caught in a Web

If you were feeling sorry for the bees and other bugs ambushed by ambush bugs a few weeks ago, you can now feel sorry for the ambush bugs – a western spotted orb weaver (Neoscona oaxacensis) has arrived in the garden. As you will see in a bit, ambush bugs don’t stand much of a chance once caught in a spider web.

The Predator

western spotted orb weaver
N. oaxacensis spinning its web.
western spotted orb weaver
When disturbed, this spider tries to hide or run away.
western spotted orb weaver
The markings on its abdomen are quite intricate.
western spotted orb weaver
N. oaxacensis waits at the center of its completed web.
western spotted orb weaver spinnerets
A closer look at its web spinnerets.

The Prey

western spotted orb weaver with caught ambush bug
The next day, three ambush bugs had flown into the web and the spider had wrapped in silk (one shown here).
ambush bug caught in spider web
An ambush bug, packaged for premium freshness.
ambush bug caught in spider web
Another one of the ambush bugs, soon to become a snack.
western spotted orb weaver with ambush bug
Snack time!
western spotted orb weaver with ambush bug
western spotted orb weaver with ambush bug
This time the ambush bug is on the wrong side of external digestion.

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