Spider ID?

Jeffrey A. Del Col br105 at cleveland.Freenet.Edu
Thu Jan 21 08:29:44 EST 1993


There doesn't seem to be any net group devoted to entomolgy, or
at least I can't find one, so I thought I'd post this here.
This summer I saw a very odd spider that I think may be an example
of some kind of mimicry meant to lure prey within range.  

The spider was an orb-weaver.  When I first saw it, I could have
sworn it was a small paper-wasp nest suspended in mid air.  The spider
was perhaps 3/4 inch overall length, and its abdomen was shaped like
an irregular cone with the apex on the ventral side of the animal. Its
coloration and shape were so much like those of a Polistes spp. nest, that
I was immediately struck by the thought that it had to be some kind of
mimicry, perhaps to lure prey, perhaps to ward off enemies.

Can anyone help me identify this species?  I live in north central West 
Virginia.

J. Del Col
-- 
Jeff Del Col      *   DECONSTRUCTION--- the critical method invented      
A-B College       *                      by Procrustes  
Philippi, WV      *                             
                  *         



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