Today I am sharing an image of a garden spider doing what it does best – catching and eating an insect meal. This particular spider had trapped a grasshopper in its intricate orb web next to the auto tour road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge.
In my photo, you can see that the spider has already wrapped the grasshopper tightly in silk before beginning to feed. This is typical behavior for garden spiders. Once an insect flies into the web and gets stuck, the spider first bites it and injects venom to immobilize it. Then it wraps the prey securely in silk so it can’t escape. Only then does the spider start eating its trapped meal.
I’ve been observing and photographing this particular garden spider for a few weeks now from inside my truck. It has positioned its web close to the road, allowing me to capture its daily insect-catching activities. Garden spiders like this one are common across North America and often build their webs in gardens, fields, and meadows.
Garden spiders play an important role in controlling pest insects like mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and grasshoppers. The insects they capture in their webs become nutritious meals. Garden spiders pose no danger to humans unless threatened. Their venom is similar to a bee sting if you accidentally step on or touch one.
It’s fascinating to see the hunting and feeding behaviors of spiders like this one. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to observe and photograph such interesting nature moments right from my truck window. Capturing a garden spider’s meal in a photo allows me to share a unique view into its daily life.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma
- Date and Time Taken: October 1, 2023 (08:37 A.M.)
- Program Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f/6.3
- Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
- ISO: 500 (Auto)
- Exposure Comp: 0
- Focal Length: 500mm