Desert Orb Weaver  (two photos)
Genus Metepeira

male Metepeira fighting over female
Early Spring as well as summer brings out the Desert Orb Weavers by the thousands
on Antelope Island. They are so tiny that most people don't even notice them. They
are essential for the many millions of midges that hatch during that time. These

two males are fighting for the calm female hanging below them.  The next photo
shows some egg sacs. © Carol Davis 7-12-2017

metepeira egg sacs
These are just a tiny fraction of the egg sacs produced during mating season. If
you've ever visited Antelope Island during Spring and early Summer when the biting
midges are thick on the north end of the Island, you can appreciate the mammoth
 task these spiders have in controlling them. After these spiders begin to wane,
 then the large Neoscona Orb Weavers take over the task.
   If you'd like to
see the two male spiders (from the first photo) battling each other, I have
posted a short video on Youtube. © Carol Davis 7-12-2017

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