Arachnid life and [not] death
During my reconnoitering through Great Hills Park on May 2, about half an hour before I encountered the green anole that graciously put on a display for me, I noticed a funnel web in the low vegetation next to the trail. Not knowing if a spider was waiting inside the funnel to pounce on any small prey that ventured onto the outer portion of the web, I knelt to have a look. When I did, I could see that there was indeed a spider in the narrow part of the funnel, but then to my surprise I noticed that there was also a dead spider at the top of the outer part of the web.
Update: In a comment below, Spider Joe explained that what I took to be a dead spider was actually the cast-off exoskeleton of the live spider in the funnel. See his detailed comment for more information.
For the technically minded, I’ll add that this forested part of the trail was pretty dark, so I turned on my flash and stopped my macro lens down to a small aperture for extra depth of field.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman