Tuesday, September 25, 2012

UST Photography and Environmental Science Reference: Love the Spiders

Dr Abe V Rotor
Photos by the author of a specimen kept in a Petri dish for study.  It was later released to its natural environment - in some cozy corner of the house.  Hence the spider is called Common House Spider.  It is harmless, but owing to its fearful look and intruding presence it is not at all welcomed as part of the household. We may not be aware that its a vanguard and friendly companion devouring cockroaches, flies, midges, and other household pests even bigger than itself.  

Common House Spider (Tagenaria domestica). Note the missing legs of this specimen.  The spider and all members of Class Arachnida, have eight legs, distinct from insects which have six.  Lost legs due to accident or as a result of fighting and predation  grow back in the next molting. This power of regeneration is common to members of Phylum Arthropoda, and among reptiles.  Regeneration a phenomenon in the biological world which we do not yet fully understand.   
The egg mass of house spider is covered with the spider's own silk. It carries the egg mass under its belly wherever it goes, finally depositing it where the newly hatched spiders are safe and assured of food. 
Another house spider, Tegenaria parietina which looks very close to our local species is known as Cardinal Spider or Cardinal Wolsey's Spider.  Legend tells us that during the reign of Henry VIII of England  between the 14th and 15th century, Cardinal Wolsey was almost frightened to death by a fierce looking spider in his bedroom.  Cardinal Wolsey's fear of spiders is shared by many children and adults which may develop into a nervous condition called Arachnophobia. 


Your home is the space
where your embroidery sways
and glitters with the rainbow
away from life's shadow.

Redeem your mother Arachne
vanished for her art by Athene;
put the morning star to rest
and the sun to its crest. ~

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- Dr Abercio V Rotor

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