Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Little Un-nerving

But still kind of fascinating.

Any guesses on what is happening here?

No, they aren't mating. Those are two female Black Widows.

So here's the story. My boss thinks it's kind of creepy that I have "pet" Black Widow at my desk (so do most of my co-workers, though they are fascinated watching her capture and eat her food). I usually find a fly or other slow moving insect to throw in for her. She rather enjoys most everything. Except maybe that stink bug I gave her just before Christmas. That smell kind of knocked her silly for a while. But she recovered and ate very well.

So one day, my boss comes in and hands me an empty fountain drink cup. I take it to throw away, thinking he is just being lazy. But he tells me I should look inside. What do you think he brought me? Another Black Widow. Now what does he expect me to do with ANOTHER Black Widow?

It's not moving much, this new one in the cup of left over Diet Pepsi. So it wasn't hard to remove it and put it in with the other Widow. Well? What else was I supposed to do with it? We all wondered what would happen. Would they fight? Live together harmoniously? Who knows? I do.

The new Black Widow didn't move much (I think she was too high on caffeine), but enough to attract the attention of the "resident" Black Widow. And she didn't waste any time deciding how to deal with this new addition to her web.

Resident BW (bottom) wrapping up the intruder (top).

The residue Diet Pepsi on the new Black Widow kind of made the other a little loopy for a while. I guess caffeine doesn't sit well with spiders. But again, she recovered, and continued her wrapping process.

Resident BW soon had the intruder over in her favorite corner, and sat there casually consuming the now lifeless spider.

So now we all know. If another spider ends up in the web of Black Widow, she won't take kindly to it. What's left of one unfortunate spider is proof of that.


Red said...

good to know! excellent documentation though :)

uh, add me to the list of people who think it's creepy to have a black widow as a 'pet'

i'm getting used to some spiders, but that's not one that sits well with me... i had my boss kill one for me a few months ago.

Vickie said...

lol...just read Red's comment. I'm fascinated with your fascination. But not on my desk. I'm glad there are plenty of us out there to spread the interest and the research!

Troy said...

I'm just wondering when you're going to name you're little office mate.

deejbrown said...

I adore your non-judgmental fascination with all aspects of the natural world (that we are all part of, not separate from).
Of course, in my world, this is all familiar. Just another day of office politics. I could have predicted the outcome.

behindthebins said...

Huh! Who knew! I'm glad she is on your desk not mine though.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Wow. That's a spider I have yet to see.