June 15, 2008
Pictured here as “newborns,” Araneus diadematus live in bushes and trees, on or near buildings, and in gardens and parks. These immature spiders were probably laid before last winter, safely away from their mother’s web. Each yellow egg sac laid by the mother contains hundreds of eggs. They're left on their own when their mother dies in the fall. When warmer weather arrives, the young emerge and mass together in what looks like a ball of spiderlings. When touched or blown upon, some huddle tighter and some disperse down strands of web, to return when the shaking stops. The spiderlings use the wind to travel once they leave their siblings. This is called ballooning. To do this they create threads of silk, that are caught by a breeze and the spiders are on their way. Photo taken on May 30, 2008 in Seattle, Washington.