Hi Eric! I live in Colorado and have enjoyed watching several Cat-Faced Spiders hanging out along my deck all summer long. They have all disappeared by now...except for a tiny baby. I was wondering if I could "take him/her in"...since I am assuming he/she will soon die or disappear too...his/her web is dwindling. I was just curious if it would be possible to keep him/her alive by bringing him/her inside...I have seen where they live in labs. I just don't know what I would feed him/her or how best to take care of him/her. If it is best just to let nature take it's course I will of course do just that...but I was curious to ask an expert, such as yourself, if it was possible to take care of him/her. I would appreciate any info you might have. Do you know if this would be a male or female?
I don't want to seem cold-hearted, but I do believe it is best to leave the spider be.
I am not experienced caring for orbweavers in captivity, though you might be able to find someone on Arachnoboards or InsectGeeks or some other online community who has done so.
At this stage of its development, it is pretty much impossible to determine gender.
This year's abundance of certain insects may have allowed for more than the usual one generation of this species; or, it could be that some overwinter as young spiders. That is certainly not unheard of in other kinds of orbweavers.
The decision is ultimately yours of course. I respect and admire your caring nature, I wish the majority of folks had half the degree of sentimentality towards arachnids that you do!
I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.
Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.
Publications Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.
Education/Credentials Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.
Awards and Honors One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.
Past/Present Clients Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.