A beautiful (and a bit scary!) spider

This morning I met this interesting and unusual spider in the garden, bright yellow, and with a HUGE abdomen. I got very close to film it, I don’t know if it was a risky move… maybe -since it’s so big- it’s also poisonous to humans if it bits? Anyway, I identified it as a marbled orb-weaver, the technical name should be araneus marmoreus var. pyramidatus. First time I see one of these, it’s a cool spider!

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Pieris Rapae eggs

pieris-rapae-eggsThe epic battle between team De Santis (my father and I) and team Pieris Rapae (the butterflies that everyday try to lay their eggs on our broccoli plants) is still very much in progress.

Every time we are in the countryside, we monitor the plants as there are always some white butterflies flying around the garden, lying their eggs on the inferior pages of the broccoli leaves. We remove the eggs, or the caterpillars that would hatch from them will devour the plants! Today I took a very close picture of the eggs. Look how interesting they are. It’s a pity we have to remove them, but unfortunately only one team will eat the broccoli… and we want to be it!

Pieris Rapae attacking our broccoli!

My father, who is getting very good at farming, planted a lot of broccoli this month. We know from my granpda Benedetto, who has been planting broccoli for decades, that sometimes the broccoli plants are infested by green caterpillars. Those caterpillars are a serious treat, because they devoure the leaves ferociously!



Today, while we were watching my father’s plants, that are growning nicely so far, we realized that those white butterflies who were flying gently in the garden could actually be the originators of those caterpillars. They were small and white, with a black spot of their wings. After searching on google images, we had our suspects confirmed: they were Pieris Rapae butterflies! We inspected the leaves of the broccoli and found the eggs they were lying! These are two groups of eggs that were attached to the back pages of two different leaves. Interestingly, and I don’t know why, a set of eggs was yellow, while the other set was white.

We also found a caterpillar that was already developed, ready to attack the plants! Here’s the video I made of it. Very cute, but unfortunately for him we had to separate him from his favorite food.

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