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Orb_weaver_spiderlings
Baby Orb Weavers weaving hot air balloons

My sister thinks I may possibly be obsessed with the subject of spiders. I say I am just doing a public service by alerting by alerting everyone to Dangers That Lurk. Such as, there are FLYING SPIDERS in Chicago, setting up shop in the downtown high rises. People need to know about this.

The Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile actually posted a notice asking that “you not open your windows in your suite during this time, to avoid the annual migration of high-rise flying spiders, a Chicago phenomenon.” They further advise that “lakeshore high rises, the Willis Tower, and the John Hancock Center have noticed an annual influx of flying spiders spinning miniature masterpieces as high as 95 stories.”

So then they tell us that the spiders are not really flying, like with wings or a super hero cape. They are flying with little hot air balloons that spiders apparently have the ability to manufacture themselves, without a factory in China. Miniature masterpieces indeed.

“…[they] technically don’t fly; the baby spiders spin balloon-like webs, which are caught by the wind, and travel great distances. When full grown, they’re pretty big, about the size of a half dollar coin.”

While I admit being intrigued, they are not getting off on a technicality. If they are in the air traveling from one location to another, they are ‘flying” for all intents and purposes. A supply of RAID for Flying Insects will be laid in along with the .223 and .308.

However, I did find an interesting note about the orb weavers at Wiki:

“… the much smaller males are attacked during their first copulation and are cannibalized in up to 80% of the cases.[11] All surviving males die after their second copulation, a pattern observed on other Argiope species. Whether a male survives his first copulation depends on the duration of the genital contact: males that jump off early (before 5 seconds) have a chance of surviving, while males that copulate longer (greater than 10 seconds) invariably die.”

And just how did the Orb Weavers negotiate that deal with God? Is it too late for us?

Here is what we have learned:

1. Stay the hell out of Chicago high rises until “migration” season is over.
2. Our business people should meet with the Spider Leaders (female, obviously) and get some manufacturing tips.
3. Female orb weavers are due some sisterly respect. But I’m still going to blast them with RAID if they set up “shop” anywhere near me.

You’re welcome.

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