Dewdrop Spiders Of California

posted in: Bite Size Factoids | 2

Shiny Dewdrop Caught Our Eyes

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CrtrGrl begins the Copper Creek Trail hike.

Many little treasures can be found while Hiking Copper Creek Trail! When Scott & I decided to take a turn to check out the creek, we spotted a small nook we just had to explore. There we found several little spiders & other not so tiny Crtrs. A shiny dewdrop caught our eyes immediately! It was moving around in mid-air, well sort of. A Dewdrop Spider (Argyrodes elevatus) was hanging around on a web doing its thing. We didn’t see any pedipalps, so we can assume this was a female thief. For more details on how this species has gained a not so pleasant reputation, read on.

Bite Size Factoids – Dewdrop Spider

Dewdrop Spider (Argyrodes elevatus)
A female Dewdrop Spider (Argyrodes elevatus) on a web.

The Dewdrop Spider (Argyrodes elevatus) doesn’t have the greatest reputation around the neighborhood. They’re known as kleptoparasites because of their sneaky, naughty ways of stealing other spiders’ webs & making themselves right at home. They have the ability to build their own webs, but it’s easier just to steal, especially since there are no laws against it in the world of arachnids.

Roommate Deal 

Dewdrop Spider (Argyrodes elevatus)
Dewdrop Spider (Argyrodes elevatus), a possible kleptoparasite at work.

In some cases, Dewdrop Spiders are invited to become roomies with other spider species. Web spiders often trap much smaller prey, but they don’t appeal to some of them as much as the bigger meals do. This is where their new roommate deal comes in. Dewdrop Spiders are not picky like their hosts. In fact, they will happily grub on the micro prey that unfortunately get caught in the web. So they sign an agreement & both get their faces stuffed with goodies. What a nifty deal!

Creepy Roommate

Unfortunately, host spiders don’t always read the fine print of the agreement made with their new & creepy roommates. Dewdrop Spiders will not only take the larger prey to accompany their micro yummies, but are found to grub on a spider’s predigested mush as well. There is another catch in rooming with these kleptos. The host spider better sleep with 8 eyes open, because that creepy roommate Dewdrop it accepted to chill on its web, may turn & look at its host roomy as a yummy morsel. Yikes! I’m beginning to think maybe the glistening beauty Scott photographed actually did some kleptomizing herself. Tsk tsk.

 

Check out some more of Scott McGee’s, (Under Pressure Photography), photos of our Copper Creek Trail hike, capturing me Crtr exploring. (Click on the tiny arrow, bottom right to enlarge photos):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on my YouTube video for my usual wacky version of Bite Size Factoids, “Dewdrops Of California”. Please give it a thumbs up, comment, subscribe & share with other Crtr peeps! Big Crtr hugs & always…Get Your Crtr On!

2 Responses

  1. Marvin Yoder

    Spiders a real interesting creature, many lessons you can learn in life from those critters of you just stop an do a study so industrius

    • CrtrGrl

      Indeed, Marvin. I say this about nature as a whole. She is our greatest teacher. All we have to do is watch & listen.

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