Yes, This Spider Lives in Maine
Have you ever found yourself just scrolling through your Facebook News Feed and some nightmare fuel creature pops up? I feel like this happens daily but thankfully they're usually just giant spiders only found in Australia or some terrifying sea creature from the depths of
hell the ocean.
Last night I was mindlessly scrolling Facebook and a terrifying photo popped up. It was a spider. At first glance, I swear it was a tarantula with a sea urchin shell on top. So an Australian spider from the depths of the ocean?
To my horror, the post was from the MAINE Wildlife Facebook group. This dude lives HERE. Thanks to some arachnid familiar members of the group the spider in question is apparently an orb-weaver spider, more specifically a shamrock or pumpkin orb weaver spider.
According to the Wildlife Heritage Foundation, these guys can be found throughout the United States and Canada and are most noticeable this time of year when they and their webs reach their largest sizes, which thankfully, is not that big (4mm-20mm).
Orb-weavers spend most of their time weaving their webs. They relax on the web during the day awaiting some grub to get caught on the web. At night they do housekeeping on the web. Shamrocks will rebuild their web every day after eating strands of the old web.
The one photographed is a female as the male will kick the bucket after mating. And that sea urchin looking orb? That’s full of her babies. Good luck sleeping tonight.
Momma spider will die shortly but her egg sac will live on and hatch hundreds of baby spiders in the spring so they can do it all over again.
Thankfully the Wildlife Heritage Foundation notes that they’re non-aggressive spiders and not dangerous to humans or pets and eat a lot of other pests.