Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/664
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
It is possible that, as with the Nephila plumipes, the young males of Hyptiotes construct nets, but of this I can say nothing; for as yet I have never seen what I was certain were the eggs or the very young. Near Ithaca I have found the partly-grown spiders, during the latter part of July, and the adults are all gone before the close of November. Certain little cocoons (Fig. 4), which are quite abundant in the same localities and upon the hemlock-twigs, may prove to be made by this spider, but at present all is conjecture.
A, the cocoon, of natural size, hung by thread-lines between hemlock-twigs; B, the cocoon enlarged, seen obliquely, so as to show the triangular base.
The form of these cocoons is quite peculiar: it is that of a little sphere flattened upon one side; at three points the border of this flat side is extended into strong lines, by which the cocoon is suspended between the twigs. Its diameter is about one-tenth of an inch, but the lines are often two or three inches long. The ground-color is usually white; but there are always a few black specks, and some-times these cover so large a portion of the surface as to make the cocoon appear gray or nearly black.
Besides these more common cocoons, the hemlock-twigs sometimes bear others of about the same size, but pear-shaped, and hanging by the smaller end upon a single short line. To identify these, the spiders should be taken in September, and kept in captivity upon hemlock-branches, so that they may make their cocoons.