Crow’s Nest: Spider vs. lanternfly

July 29, 2018

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Arachnophobes, do not scroll down.

I saw a couple of these large spiders along the Creek Trail yesterday each with a nest of baby spiders nearby. These are about three inches in diameter of leg span, and are likely fishing spiders (Dolomedes tenebrosus). This one is perched in a small black walnut tree.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Meanwhile, I have been noticing that invasive spotted lanternflies are covering our black walnut trees and I’m seeing dieback of walnut leaves, apparently from the piercing and sucking of sap as the lanternflies feed.

A lanternfly advanced up the stem of the tree, even starting to walk up the spider’s leg. But as soon as the spider moved the lanternfly jumped to safety. There are few things that happen quicker than I can see them but the lanternfly jump is one of them. No meal for the spider there.

Photo: Daniel Barringer