Stacey the golden-web spider (Nephila Pilipes)

The Snark

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I've never seen predation of the males with this species. Even when there are several in the web, they have always seemed to have amicable relationships. The male poses neihter threat, competition, nor interesting as a meal to the female and feeding wise, the males need all the help they can get. Their webs suck and when they move into the female's web the sticky threads aren't readily available to him.
 

Ah Lee

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I find the same behavior with my Trichonephila clavipes. One trick that seems to coax her into eating crickets or even dead prey, is to hold the prey with long tongs onto the web and then lightly tap on the end of the tongs with my other hand repeatedly. My (tricho)neph doesn't ravenously pounce on this prey like she would with flying prey, but she sends out some web plucks to figure out whats going on, and then eventually darts out to make a "killing" bite. Something to try maybe with your picky neph! :)
Thanks for the tip mmcguffi! I used to use this method to feed Stacey. Sometimes i just dangled a dead cricket on her web and pointed a fan at it. The wind would move the web, she would notice there is something stuck, do some plucks and make a beeline for it.

Sometimes i will dangle prey with tongs as well, if she is being particularly twitchy that day, i will grab the cricket by it's feelers so there is less resistance.

She just doesn't seem as interested now that she is well-fed. I will be writing another post on what i have observed about her feeding habits soon!
 

Ah Lee

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I've never seen predation of the males with this species. Even when there are several in the web, they have always seemed to have amicable relationships. The male poses neihter threat, competition, nor interesting as a meal to the female and feeding wise, the males need all the help they can get. Their webs suck and when they move into the female's web the sticky threads aren't readily available to him.
Yea they are so tiny I don't think they even count as a meal. Flash walks around Stacey doing his own thing and she barely even flinches. It's real interesting to watch their behaviour though!
 

The Snark

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BTW, saw the cutest thing a while back. A normal mom neph web, a couple of feet across the orb, and out on the perimeter 5 males had made miniature gnat catchers around 2 to 4 inch across webs, They all tied some of their webs to mom's guy lines.
 

Ah Lee

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Something's brewing

Stacey has left her web, and I caught her hanging out at the leaf canopy, pulling a few anchor lines. Could this be the beginning of a new web? I am just exploding with excitement, but the first thing I did was left the room and closed the door. Last thing I would want to do is to disturb whatever she's up to. We'll just have to wait till morning!

My wife and I were just talking about how much Stacey has grown, and I was lamenting the fact that i never had a photo of her when she was a baby. That awesome woman whipped out her phone her showed me this photo she snapped while I was clearing the water bottle. Hurray!

mmexport1605200988142.jpg
 

Ah Lee

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The great migration

If you watch Our Planet, you'll know how animals can travel great distances for food, water, or just to increase their distribution. I have had the pleasure of observing just such a phenomenon right in my room. Stacey abandoned her old web and and set off on a journey to make a new one. 20 centimeters away from her old one. Not 10, that was last month, but a whole twenty. Wow, such amazing, much incredible.

IMG-20201114-WA0003.jpg

Jokes aside, I am pretty happy she moved into the frame of the nice area I had built for her. The new web is surprisingly even more sparse than the old one, consisting of a couple of strands of web making up a crappy platform. I try to spend as little time in the room as possible for now, and even when I do I stay away from her web area, hopefully she'll build something decent soon.

IMG-20201114-WA0000.jpg

Also I think Flash is missing? I can't confirm as I do not want to get too near Stacey, but I might feed her later on today and if that freeloader is around, he'll pop up.
 

Ah Lee

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For science!

Did some housekeeping today and cleared Stacey's old web. Ended up with a bunch of very fluffy, very un-golden silk.

P_20201122_114050.jpg

For centuries, scientists have been wondering: can spider silk hold a PS4 controller? I decided to conduct a thorough and detailed experiment to find out.

P_20201122_114828.jpg

Results: Yes. Yes it can. And very well indeed!
 

darkness975

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For science!

Did some housekeeping today and cleared Stacey's old web. Ended up with a bunch of very fluffy, very un-golden silk.

View attachment 366905

For centuries, scientists have been wondering: can spider silk hold a PS4 controller? I decided to conduct a thorough and detailed experiment to find out.

View attachment 366906

Results: Yes. Yes it can. And very well indeed!
I doubt even Latrodectus silk is THAT strong, though I could be wrong.
 

Ah Lee

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I doubt even Latrodectus silk is THAT strong, though I could be wrong.
A single strand isn't, but that was a 1.5m web condensed into a 10cm thread, and it really was amazingly strong.

The most i have managed to hang on a single thread is a piece of A5 paper, which i actually feel is pretty amazing in itself!
 

Ah Lee

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Goodbye, Stacey.

It's been a really long while since I updated this thread, and that was because Stacey hadn't been in the best of health.

She was showing all the signs of age and slowing down. Her last meal was on 24 November. She had still attacked prey as she usually did, but this time, she just left it hanging on her web, and after a while, she just cut it off the web. I had fed her 7 times since that day, and everytime it's the same. She attacks her food, kills it, but doesn't eat it. She still drinks normally and walks about the web normally, so I didn't bother her too much, thinking it might be a molt or something else.

In her last 2 days she declined quickly. Her movements were slower the night before she died, she was hanging on her web by one leg. I tried to help her up but she didn't seem to have strength to hold on anymore.

IMG-20201217-WA0007.jpg

I moved her to the T ICU where she spent her last few hours, and 2 days ago she died. To be honest I don't know how she died. She looked otherwise healthy, even on her deathbed she was quite hefty. I have had her for about 10 months, so a part of me just hoped that it is just old age, and she went as gracefully as she could. I cannot fathom any other reason, because everything else in the room is thriving, as was Stacey before she left.

IMG-20201217-WA0006.jpg

I hope I had given her a good life. I usually don't get very attached to my spiders, but Stacey was special probably because she hung around me so much. When I stressed with work I'll just look up and look at her just doing her thang.

IMG-20201217-WA0003.jpg

We'll bury her later at old home, near the dragonfly colony. Goodbye, old girl. I love you.
 

basin79

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Yes I've given your sad post a "love" rating. Not for the contents of that post but for the whole thread. The level of dedication and love you had for Stacey was phenomenal.
 

XxSpiderQueenxX

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Goodbye, Stacey.

It's been a really long while since I updated this thread, and that was because Stacey hadn't been in the best of health.

She was showing all the signs of age and slowing down. Her last meal was on 24 November. She had still attacked prey as she usually did, but this time, she just left it hanging on her web, and after a while, she just cut it off the web. I had fed her 7 times since that day, and everytime it's the same. She attacks her food, kills it, but doesn't eat it. She still drinks normally and walks about the web normally, so I didn't bother her too much, thinking it might be a molt or something else.

In her last 2 days she declined quickly. Her movements were slower the night before she died, she was hanging on her web by one leg. I tried to help her up but she didn't seem to have strength to hold on anymore.

View attachment 369154

I moved her to the T ICU where she spent her last few hours, and 2 days ago she died. To be honest I don't know how she died. She looked otherwise healthy, even on her deathbed she was quite hefty. I have had her for about 10 months, so a part of me just hoped that it is just old age, and she went as gracefully as she could. I cannot fathom any other reason, because everything else in the room is thriving, as was Stacey before she left.

View attachment 369153

I hope I had given her a good life. I usually don't get very attached to my spiders, but Stacey was special probably because she hung around me so much. When I stressed with work I'll just look up and look at her just doing her thang.

View attachment 369155

We'll bury her later at old home, near the dragonfly colony. Goodbye, old girl. I love you.
oh nooo :( glad she had such a good home though.


what is a dragonfly colony?
 

Ah Lee

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Yes I've given your sad post a "love" rating. Not for the contents of that post but for the whole thread. The level of dedication and love you had for Stacey was phenomenal.
Thank you @basin79 , for always following Stacey's journey! She owes her pampered lifestyle to your tong-feeding advice :p
 

Ah Lee

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oh nooo :( glad she had such a good home though.


what is a dragonfly colony?
I'm not sure if it's the correct term, but it's just a spot i found that always has a swarm of big, juicy dragonflies zipping around. It's by a deserted road, and near my house, so I'll drop by every 2-3 days to catch food for Stacey. A spider's version of a drive-thru, so to speak :rofl:
 

The Snark

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I'm not sure if it's the correct term, but it's just a spot i found that always has a swarm of big, juicy dragonflies zipping around.
We get a lot of those gatherings. If you spend some time outdoor really paying attention you can often trace your way back to a puddle or even an old can full of water or some such that had a recent nymph conversion. The youngsters hang around for a few days getting their wings rigid, then they are swarming and gradually disperse. An ongoing cycle in conducive areas.

Just as I got ready to type this, a phone call from my wife-> "I bought you a present! And I ate it." Wondering if I really heard that I went out on the porch. A half dozen wing soggy youngster dragonflies are sitting on the phone wire.
What is fun is in the early spring when they first flood the rice fields and we have had several nymph conversions. Gazillions of bugs doing the mating dance and huge swarms of dragonflies. The Battle of Britain was very small change compared to those aerial dogfights. That is a really REALLY bad time to ride a motorcycle without helmet and face shield.:yuck::yuck:
 

Ah Lee

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We get a lot of those gatherings. If you spend some time outdoor really paying attention you can often trace your way back to a puddle or even an old can full of water or some such that had a recent nymph conversion. The youngsters hang around for a few days getting their wings rigid, then they are swarming and gradually disperse. An ongoing cycle in conducive areas.

Just as I got ready to type this, a phone call from my wife-> "I bought you a present! And I ate it." Wondering if I really heard that I went out on the porch. A half dozen wing soggy youngster dragonflies are sitting on the phone wire.
What is fun is in the early spring when they first flood the rice fields and we have had several nymph conversions. Gazillions of bugs doing the mating dance and huge swarms of dragonflies. The Battle of Britain was very small change compared to those aerial dogfights. That is a really REALLY bad time to ride a motorcycle without helmet and face shield.:yuck::yuck:
Yes, when they swarm, they SWARM. I could literally swing my net randomly and almost always get 1. There is a stream nearby with a few waterlogged holes, which I presume is where the nymphs are, and that area is full of really porked-out orbweavers, lizards, mantids and frogs. It's a small but really rich area, which is why I felt it fitting to bury Stacey there.


That is a really REALLY bad time to ride a motorcycle without helmet and face shield.:yuck::yuck:
Protein is protein....right?
 
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