Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

LJ Idol - Alarming Developments for Wasp-Kind

   Spiders are known for wandering the world utterly alone. Life for a spider is frequently solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. They lurk alone in dark corners waiting to come out like Beowulf's Grendel .. but even Grendel at least had a mother who wasn't liable to eat him. As a spider, you have no friends -- most of the time members of your own species will try to kill and perhaps eat you if they get half a chance -- even if you just mated with them!

   So then, imagine your shock and alarm if you were say a large wasp flying confidently through the tropical jungles of equatorial Africa and suddenly found yourself mired in a web and set upon by hundreds of spiders working together.
   If you were a particularly well read wasp it might occur to you that these spiders are Agelena consociata, a species of social spider. They've been known to construct nests consisting of over a thousand individual spiders, on several square meters of web.
   As a scientifically oriented wasp you'll note that they work together to take down large prey such as yourself, signaling to one another through a system of abdomenal pats.
   If you are a wasp with an eye for interior decorating, and lets just say you are, you'll note that the nest consists of layers of horizontal sheets of webbing connected by vertical "scaffoldings" of web. You'll probably note that if they had any sense at all of feng shui there clearly would not have been a scaffolding interrupting your flight plan. Furthermore you'll observe with contempt that while the spiders work together in some activities, their planning of web construction is clearly uncoordinated and a shameful display of interior decoration. You would perhaps try to give the spiders some pointers on this subject but you can't seem to get the abdomenal pat language down quite right. In fact you seem to have accidentally said something quite vulgar.

   Perhaps as they close in on you you'll try to give them some "pointers" of a different type, with your trusty stinger! Unless you happen to be male and then you don't have an ovipositor, which is what passes for a stinger these days, so you're going to have to depend on explaining that YOU never hunted the spiders or their kin, and are just a peaceful nectarvore. It turns out they still hold you accountable for all the injustices of generations of wasp persecution. As hundreds of spiders overwhelm you your last words are "how rude!"

An Angelena consociata web.

Random bonus fact: while researching this I learned that baby spiders are called "spiderlings." Is that adorable, or is that adorable?

Previously on Emo-Snal: wasp hunts spiders

Tags: african fauna, fiction, lj idol entry, lj idol season 7, other insects, scientific fiction
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