On October 2nd I was walking my dogs on a path at Lake Tawakoni State Park when I encountered a wonderful sight. I only had my cheap camera with me, and the wind was blowing a bit strong, so the shot didn’t turn out great, but here it is:
This is a Bold Jumper (Phidippus audax) at the center of an orb web. These are jumping spiders, not orbweavers. Jumping spiders do not make orb webs. They hunt like cats instead, stalking and pouncing. This spider should not have been in this web.
The jumping spider is eating the real owner of the web, an orbweaver. It’s doubtful that the jumper had walked into the orb web, as the orbweaver likely would have been inclined run and hide, and the jumper could easily have gotten stuck. More likely, the Bold Jumper had leapt upon the orbweaver from the side of the web while the orbweaver rested obliviously at the web’s hub.
This was an amazing sight because I’ve never seen a jumping spider in an orb web. Unfortunately, the photos were quite out of focus, so I didn’t upload hi-res versions to Flickr.