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Free images -  Animal Homes - Capsules

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  Did you know....

that some types of spiders "fold" their homes and live in capsules?  

Clubiona riparia is a member of the Clubionidae family, is commonly known as the "Riparian Sac Spider" or the "Leaf-curling Sac Spider" and is found from Alaska to Newfoundland, southward to New Mexico and Maryland.  It prefers to inhabit tall grass in marshes or near lakes.  Some have been found in mixed conifer-deciduous forests.

On a recent camping trip, I was fortunate to have noticed these little triangular grass packages beside a northern Ontario lake.  The female spiders must have known exactly what plant/grass blades to use, how high and large to build their capsules, and how tightly to seal their edges.  The weather was terribly cold with a downpour of rain and high winds.  The grass was blown back and forth violently and drenched with water, yet all the strong capsules held their precious cargo intact.

 

Folded grass egg capsule Clubiona ripario

Clubiona riparia - 1

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Folded grass nest of Leaf-curling Sac Spider

Clubiona riparia - 2

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Folded leaf nest of Leaf-curling Sac Spider

Clubiona riparia - 3

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Sac spider nest of folded grass

Clubiona riparia - 4

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Leaf-curling Sac Spider

Clubiona riparia - 5

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Leaf-curling Sac Spider

Clubiona riparia - 6
See the female hiding in the egg capsule?

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Sac spiders are fascinating creatures in that they do not spin webs, but rather build silken retreats or sacs on plants, between leaves, under bark or stones.  These spiders are typically 5-12 mm in length, are pale in colour, and have eight legs.

The females of the Leaf-curling Spider build three-sided capsules into which they enclose both themselves and their eggs.

Capsules are constructed by bending a single blade of grass or other leaf matter twice.  Each fold is perpendicular to the long axis of the blade.  The edges are then joined with silk.

According to a 2011 study conducted in a marsh in central Ontario by The American Arachnological Society entitled "Egg capsule architecture and siting in a leaf-curling sac spider, Clubiona riparia"  this species of spider also used the leaves of Cattails, Iris, and a Willow Shrub.

The AAS study quoted J.H. Constock, The Spider Book, 1948, and described the capsules as both a nursery for the spiderlings and a coffin for the parent.

A fascinating note is the fact that all capsules I spotted were constructed using a pair of either clockwise or counterclockwise bends.  

 

Female Leaf-curling Sac Spider

Clubiona riparia - 7

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Leaf-curling Sac Spider on blade of grass.

Clubiona riparia - 8

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Leaf-curling Sac Spider inside her leaf nest

Clubiona riparia - 9

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Leaf-curling Sac Spider Clubiona riparia with eggs.

Clubiona riparia - 10
Female spider and her "clutch" of eggs.

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Egg clutch of Clubiona riparia spider Ontario

Clubiona riparia - 11

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Female Leaf-curling Sac Spider and her clutch of eggs

Clubiona riparia - 12

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Leaf-curling Sac Spider with egg clutch northern Ontario

Clubiona riparia - 13

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Leaf-curling Sac Spider Clubiona riparia with egg clutch northern Ontario

Clubiona riparia - 14

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If you'd like to drop me a note to let me know if any of these images have been useful, I'd love to hear from you. I'm curious to see if my snapshots have been of benefit to you in some way.  Also, I'd like to hear what kind of images you'd like to see more of. 

 

 

 

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"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no  questions, they pass no criticisms." 
~ George Eliot ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The greatness
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~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I like pigs. 
Dogs look up to us. 
Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals."
~ Winston Churchill ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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