With the assistance of my dedicated team of blog readers and fellow bloggers, the mystery of the murdered spider is progressing. Heather from 2Summers bringing up the lead with the statement ” I didn’t know spiders have blood” . Darn good question to investigate I thought. I brought in my favorite investigator and personal guru, Mr Google to give us more information and it turns out that spiders have blue/transparent blood. Time for a specialist to look at this I decided, and emailed the Spider Club of South Africa.
Within a few hours I got the following response: (with my comments in red)
I LOVE the Slowvelder!! In fact I think I will subscribe …. ( Yay! another groupie – I love my subscribers )
Just for the record and before I try guessing what happened to the spider it is a MRS not a MISTER! Something to love about spiders is that they are the ultimate female chauvinists, particularly the big orb weavers. It is the ladies that are bigger, better, brighter, more beautiful, smarter and more potent than the males. (aren’t we always?)
Here are photos of a near relative to your murdered spider showing the relative size of females (big and beautiful) to males, (insignificant and dull)! (<—– I like )
Nephila senegalensis, the Banded-legged Nephila or Banded-legged Golden Orbweb Spider.
Spider “blood”, actually haemolymph because it does not have red oxygen-carrying corpuscles IS blue or transparent. The orange-red gunk is probably not her “blood”, although I am not sure what it is. Perhaps she was full of eggs. Nephila eggs are pink or orange when they are first laid, turning paler after a few hours. The ovaries in these spiders are huge because they lay hundreds of eggs at a time. So it could be that and all the other internal organs kind of squished. I wonder why she was dropped though, all very mysterious. Maybe a bird tried to grab her, got a fright and deposited its own droppings before it dropped the spider.
Sorry to tell you the spider’s motive of cutting the mantid from her web was not in the least altruistic, Mantids are well armed and can easily puncture a spider’s soft abdomen with those spiny front legs, so she probably thought it safer to remove such a potent little predator from her web to avoid injury.
All the best
Thank you so much Astri for your quick and informative response. I think we have all learned a lot from your email. Welcome to the Slowvelder
So to summarise, I’m going to say that the red is probably “guts ‘n gore ‘n eggs” from our unlucky lady – it really did not look like bird droppings – so unless it was bodily fluid from a predator, I’m guessing it must have come out of the spider. Well it’s either that or an intruder with arachnophobia and a bottle of cheap ketchup as suggested by my worthy Dr Watson, Eremophila from Eremophila’s Musings.
Thank you all for your wise and witty comments, and thanks again to Astri from the Spider Club of South Africa. Take some time and visit their website – it’s very informative.