Such a cool web site! Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge. This dude has had the same nest/web in the same spot for close to a year. I love to pass by him/her every day as I hike up the mountain. What is more is that I am gaining increased faith in my fellow man/woman as compassionate and responsible children of the Universe. Literally hundreds of people frequent this trail. Yet no one has destroyed its home.
This one is on the ground,. However, I see many webs built on dead trees with the funnel directed into a hollowed out branch. I wonder if this is an adaptation or likely another spider? Alas, “What is that bug?” Please forgive me if I am overstepping my boundaries with the following inquiry. Can you help me identify this (I think its a moth because the wings are split?). It is slightly larger than a nickel and moves very abruptly and deliberate. As opposed to some butterflies that seem to be at the mercy of prevailing winds. Thanks again for the great web site! Sincerely
Dino R. Ventittelli
San Diego CA
The United States of America =) PS I thought you might like this pic i took this morning?
While your Funnel Web Spider photos are quite nice and your ruminations on the compassion of your fellow San Diegans is touching (though we feel hikers in general are more in tuned to the pulse of the planet), we are opting to post your Mormon Metalmark, Apodemia mormo, instead for several reasons. First, it is a new species for our site, and secondly, we feel our readership will appreciate it more. Jeffrey Glassberg, in Butterflies Through Binoculars: The West, has a humorous observation that parallels your own observation. He writes: “A candidate for ritalin if I’ve ever seen one — these guys just won’t sit still. Difficult to follow while flying, when they finally decide to nectar they often keep walking around the flowers, waving their antennas and flapping their wings constantly.” The caterpillar feeds on Buckwheat, and you have photographed the butterfly nectaring on the flower of a native Buckwheat. This species has many subspecies and local populations, and the markings are highly variable, “but the combination of black and orange with many white spots is distinctive” according to Glassberg.