The BugLady’s message to world who room pining for the wildflower season to begin is this: gain thee come a wetland and watch the non-flowering plants. Mosses, especially, room going crazy these days, their environment-friendly leaflets (the gametophyte component of the plant) bristling through the stalks the sporophytes, topped through variously-shaped spore capsules. Castle happier currently than once the canopy above leafs out and also casts them into shade. Ground-hugging liverworts space covered by reproductive pits and umbrellas, and any job now, cinnamon ferns will press up with the dead leaves and dried fronds that peak the marsh hummocks. It’s past life-affirming.

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On a current wetland walk, the BugLady noticed some moss the was growing on a very rotten stump. Stiff leaves at the advice of plenty of of the moss plants had created a cup-shaped rosette. Transforms out the these are referred to as gemmae cup (cups because that gemmae), and also they’re component of the moss’s reproductive strategy. According to Dr. Jessica Budke, Herbarium Director in ~ the university of Tennessee-Knoxville, “The moss makes tiny discs the plant tissue inside the cups referred to as gemmae. This gemmae are relocated away indigenous the parental plant via a splash-cup dispersal mechanism. It sounds high tech, but really is just using the power of rain. When rain droplets soil in the cup the gemmae space dislodged and can be brought in the water together it splatters away from the moss plant. The gemmae might not be dispersed very far, yet it is far enough that this structure is helpful for the plant to have. This is a type of asexual or clonal reproduction. The plant has made a mini copy the itself that can prosper into a new moss plant.


So, gemmae, the tiny “eggs” in the Easter basket, are favor tiny sprout that are all set to prosper if they land top top a favorable substrate once they’re washed from the gemmae/splash cup. Apparently, Four-tooth moss (which this moss most likely is) likes to flourish in the agency of much more Four-tooth moss. One researcher uncovered that sparse populations were an ext likely to use gemmae, i m sorry land and also grow close come the parent moss, while dense thickets that the moss are more likely to reproduce via spores, which travel through the air far from the clump. This might be a strategy to stabilize their punky substrate. The BugLady also found gemmae cups on some lichens.

Without more ado, the spider.


It is, virtually certainly Theridion frondeum, the east long-legged cobweb spider (BugFan Mike’s “best guess” is way far better than the BugLady’s). The a small, dainty spider in the Cobweb spider household Theridiidae. Theridiidae is a big family (maybe 2,500 types globally and also 234 in phibìc America) whose numbers encompass the typical house spider, of former BOTW fame and the well known Black widow spider.

The BugLady didn’t discover a vast amount of info around this particular species, but there’s lots about the family.

Theridiidae are likewise called Cobweb spiders (because of their internet style), and Tangle web spiders and Comb-footed spiders. Comb-footed due to the fact that most types have a bristly comb near the guideline of the rear set of legs the is supplied to attract silk from the spinnerets and, stated one source, come roughen the surface ar of the silk a bit. Tangle-web due to the fact that of the creative ways some species deploy sticky silk (remember, not all spider internet silk is) (sticky). They’re discovered in woods, fields, edges and buildings across North America, an ext in the eastern half than in the west.

As usual through spiders, there’s part variation in color and also pattern, and also females are bigger than males. Click below to read more.

As usual through spiders, courtship is cautious. The BugLady discovered some tantalizing tidbits about male Theridids using nuptial feeding to present females what a good catch lock are. Some family members secrete chemicals from various knobs on your head, and the woman imbibes the liquid throughout courtship (although it’s no actually known what advantage she receives native it). Others room kleptoparasites – stealing prey from the webs of various other spiders and presenting the to their prospective mates.

Females place as numerous as 250 egg in egg sacs the they stash in sheltered places, prefer a urgently leaf. She continues to be with the egg sac till her young hatch and disperse. Here are two an excellent picture series: click here and also click here.

It’s a large family, and there’s lots of range in the webs. These space not the tidy, two-dimensional, spiral network of the orb weavers – these space (mostly) tangled, messy, “cob-webby,” tent-like structures. Lines make of sticky “gumfoot silk” may stretch from sheet to sheet or reach all the way from the internet to the ground; when tripped by ominous (pedestrian) prey, the heat releases indigenous the ground, hoisting the prey into the wait (picture Wile E. Coyote stepping right into a rope catch attached to a sapling). The vibrating line advises the resident spider the dinner is top top the way.

When they catch an invertebrate (and castle considered great biological controls of agricultural pests), they usage the combs ~ above their back legs to pull the end a bunch the sticky web to wrap the in; and after their prey is immobilized, they bite and also paralyze that (lots the spiders that build trap webs do it the other method around – bite, then wrap). Many spiders don’t usage sticky web for this purpose, however the stickiness enables Theridids to take on food that’s much bigger than they are. When they’re not subduing prey, the spiders hang head-down in their webs or remainder in a woven hiding place.

Unique things that some Theridids do:

In part species, Mom permits her offspring come live in her net briefly, and in part species, she even feeds castle predigested food until their very first molt, the only spider family that has actually this level that maternal care.In part species, males stridulate (make sound via friction), rubbing this under the front leaf of the abdomen against ridges ~ above the behind of the carapace (the peak of the cephalothorax).Spiders in part genera, including Theridon, are mildly social and will develop communal webs.Some camouflage the webs by difficult bits that plant material to it.

See more: True Or False: Two Solid Yellow Lines On The Roadway Mean That Passing Is Permitted.

The BugLady experienced a long, new strand that spider silk, recently, trailing in the wait from its attachment on a twig the other day. Maybe a newly-hatched spiderling drifted in from parts unknown.