Thursday, February 16, 2017

ZooWeird 78

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Star spider. The star spider is a colorful species found across the southern part of the United States, from California to Florida, as well as in Central America, Jamaica, and Cuba. Also known as spiny backed orbweaver, the species is commonly found in trees or around trees in shrubs. The species has been extensively studied in citrus groves in Florida, where they are known as crab spiders. It is probably the best known and popular species from the genus Gasteracantha. Star spiders have a relatively short life. Their lifespan lasts only until reproduction, which usually takes place the spring that follows the winter when they hatched. Large webs are constructed only by adult females. Males simply hang from a single thread, usually close to the web of a female. The webs hang at a slight to distinct angle from perpendicular, where the female rests near the bottom, facing down, awaiting to catch her prey.  (All animal info from

These little fellows don’t live long—
It’s sex that does them in.
Perhaps because they reproduce
Sans marriage—that’s a sin!

The female is the one who weaves
That most adhesive web,
But male and female benefit—
Yep, every Jeb and Deb.

We wonder from our vantage point
About arachnid stars,
But spiders reproduce, and so,
Le'ts break out the cigars!

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