The Fog catchers

Works cited:

  1. Nørgaard, T., & Dacke, M. (2010). Fog-basking behaviour and water collection efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling beetles. Frontiers in zoology7(1), 23.
  2. Guadarrama-Cetina, J., Mongruel, A., Medici, M. G., Baquero, E., Parker, A. R., Milimouk-Melnytchuk, I., … & Beysens, D. (2014). Dew condensation on desert beetle skin. The European Physical Journal E37(11), 109.
  3. Zeng, X., Qian, L., Yuan, X., Zhou, C., Li, Z., Cheng, J., … & Wen, X. (2016). Inspired by stenocara beetles: from water collection to high-efficiency water-in-oil emulsion separation. ACS nano11(1), 760-769.

Spiny orb-weaver

I spotted this gorgeous spider on my walk in the Experimental Forest with Charlie on Friday. bugguide tells me it’s a spiny orb-weaver, from the genus Gasteracantha. Orb-weavers are spiders responsible for building large flat webs, usually with radii (the spokes of the web) of unsticky silk and the lines that go around in a spiral in sticky silk. The spider moves around the web on the unsticky silk only so it doesn’t get stuck in it’s own web. I’ve spotted a number of similar looking spiders, a few of them on plants attacking plant-eaters. I especially like this one because it kind of looks like a skull.