About a month ago, it seemed there were Jewell Spiders everywhere, but this week the Leaf Curling Spiders have taken over. As the name suggests, each spider uses a curled leaf suspended in the centre of the web as a protected hiding spot. I’m actually thankful to see the leaves suspended as it has saved me from walking through so many webs. If I can walk around the webs, I leave them in place. Right now we have many biting March Flies circling around as I walk, and I have seen some suspended in the Leaf Curling Spider webs. I can only hope that some of them get caught. There are times I do have to break the web though, so I have taken to walking with a short web-switch stick. Usually I break the web close to one attachment point, leaving most of it intact, if dangling.
It’s funny. When we first moved here, the first sight of a spider would have sent me into ‘destroy’ mode, or more honestly, asking someone else to destroy it for me while I took cover. Looking at species has really changed me on a fundamental level. Now if I see a web I look for the spider to see if it is one I have photographed or not. This still astonishes me. I’ve even been known to scoop a spider up with a glass and a bit of paper and deposit it outside. We have an abundance of annoying insects and if the spiders are going to help to keep them down, then I am happy to let them be.
I’ve noticed that some spiders have more success than others with curling the leaf. Some are almost straight, with the slightest twist at one end. Others are very loopy. Mostly it is difficult to see the spider inside, but if the leaf is open at the top end, it is possible to see them crouching just beyond the opening. Here are a few examples of curled leaves.