Subject: Tiny spider found near farm
Geographic location of the bug: Blacksburg, VA
Time: 11:01 AM EDT
I found this spider near a farm. Caught it in a jar and it laid its eggs, and now looks a lot more deflated. What species could she be? Thanks.
How you want your letter signed: Daniel
This is a kleptoparasitic Dewdrop Spider, probably Argyrodes pluto, which according to BugGuide has a range of “USA – From Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, southwest to Chihuahua and Jamaica.” Kleptoparasites steal food from other species. According to BugGuide: “Argyrodes spiders (and related genera) are kleptoparasitic. They live in the outer edges of other spiders’ webs and move in to steal prey when the coast is clear. Apparently the method of at least one species (Argyrodes nephilae) is to attach a line of silk then cut the wrapped prey out of the host web. The bundle swings free and can be taken to the outskirts of the main web to be eaten in relative safety.”