Le placche tettoniche, una zanzara tigre, un rituale di accoppiamento, le acque sottostanti che scorrono negli antichi percorsi di roccia. La tela è uno strumento che contiene il suo spartito, i suonatori sono molteplici. A quale frequenza stai vibrando?
Tectonic plates, a tiger mosquito, a mating ritual, the waters beneath flowing in the ancient paths in the rocks. The web is an instrument that contains its score, the players are multiple. At which frequency are you vibrating?
Nome comune: /
Nome scientifico: Zygiella x-notata (Clerck, 1757)
Global distribution (WSC 2021): Europe, Turkey, Caucasus, Iran? Introduced to North America, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, China, Japan, Réunion
Caratteristiche anatomiche: Ragno di dimensioni discrete, le femmine arrivano anche agli 11 mm di lunghezza del corpo. Il prosoma (Parte cefalica) giallognolo, mostra una banda mediana che si allarga verso gli occhi più scura, mentre l’opistosoma (addome) ha un disegno a foglia i cui lati e centro sono più chiari.
Comportamento: Questa specie costruisce una tela orbicolare dal cui centro parte un filo di seta di segnalazione che raggiunge una zona, di solito su un angolo superiore della ragnatela, in cui il ragno costruisce un astuccio in cui resta; le vibrazioni di eventuali prede intrappolate nella ragnatela, attraverso il filo di segnalazione arrivano al ragno. Gli esemplari giovani, che invece costruiscono semplici tele orbicolari, attendono sulla ragnatela. In questa specie l’accoppiamento avviene su un filo di corteggiamento costruito dal maschio.
Anatomical features: Spider of fair size, females reaching up to 11 mm body length. The yellowish prosoma (cephalic part) shows a darker median band widening towards the eyes, while the opisthosoma (abdomen) has a leafy pattern with lighter sides and centre.
Behaviour: This species builds an orbicular web from the centre of which a silken signal thread runs to an area, usually on an upper corner of the web, where the spider builds a pouch in which it stays; vibrations from any prey trapped in the web reach the spider through the signal thread. Young specimens, which instead build simple orbicular webs, wait on the web. In this species, mating takes place on a courtship thread constructed by the male.
Below is a 1753 witness account of a victim of Tarantism and the Tarantella that healed him:
It happened one day that a poor man was taken ill in the street, and it was well known to be the effect of the tarantula, because the country people have some undoubted signs to know it and particularly (they say) that the tarantula bites on the tip or under lip of one's ear, because the tarantula bites one when is a sleeping on the ground: and the wounded part becomes black, which happens three days after one is bit, exactly at the hour of the hurt returned: and they further assert, that if one was to undertake to cure him he would feel the effect of it every day at the same hour for the space of three to four hours till it would throw him into such madness as to destroy him in about a months time; some (they say) have lived three months after they have been bit but the latter I cannot believe, because it never happens that any man is suffer'd to die by such distemper, the priest of the parish being obliged to play on the fiddle in order to cure them, and it has not been known in the memory of man that anyone is dead of it, but to proceed: A man poor was taken ill in a street (as I said before) and as the priest was out of the way, several gentlemen begg'd me to play for that poor fellow. I could not help going, without offending a number of friends; when I was there I saw a man stretched on the ground who seem'd as if he was just a going to expire. The people at the sight of me cried out-play-play the tarantella: (which is a tune made use of on such occasions). It happen'd that I had never heard that tune, consequently cou'd not play it. I asked what sort of tune it was? They answer'd that it was a kind of jigg: I tried several jiggs, but to no purpose, for the man was as motionless as before. The people still call'd out for the tarantella, I told them I could not play it but if any would sing it, I would learn it immediately; an old woman presented herself to me to do the good office, who sang in such an unintelligible sound of voice, that I could not form an idea of it; but another woman came, and helped me to learn it; which I did in about ten minutes time, being a short one; but you must observe that while I was a learning the tune, and happened to feel the strain of the first two bars, the man began to move accordingly, and got up as quick as lightning, and seem'd as if he had been awaken'd by some frightful vision, and wildly star'd about still moving every joint of his body; but as I had not as yet learn'd the whole tune, I left off playing, not thinking that it would have any effect on the man. But the instant I left off playing the man fell down and cried out very loud, and distorted his face, legs, arms and any other part of his body, scraped the earth with his hands and was in such contortions, that clearly indicated him to be in miserable agonies. I was frightened out of my wits and made all the haste I could to learn the rest of the tune; which done, I play'd near him, I mean about four yards from him, the instant he heard me he rose up as he did before and danced as hard as any man could do; his dancing was very wild, he kept a perfect time in the dance, but had neither rules, nor manners, only jumped and runned, too and from, made very comical postures something like the Chinese dances we have sometimes seen on the stage and otherwise everything was very wild of what he did, he sweated all over; and then the people cried out faster-faster; meaning that I should give a quicker motion to the tune, which I did so quick, that I could hardly keep up playing and the man still danced in time. I was very much fatigued and, though I have several persons behind me, some drying the sweat from my face, others blowing with a fan to keep me cool (for it was about two o'clock in the afternoon) others distancing the people that they might not throng about me; and yet not withstanding all this, I suffered a long patience to keep up such a long time, for I played (without exaggeration) about two hours, without the least interval. When the man danced about an hour, the people gave him a naked sword, which he applied with the point in the palm of his hands, and made the sword jump from one hand to the other, which sword he held in equilibrium, and he kept still dancing. The people knew he wanted a sword, because a little before he got it he scratched his hands very hard, as if he would tear the flesh from them. When he had well pricked his hands, he got hold of the sword by the handle and pricked also the upper part of his feet, and in about five minutes time his hands and feet bled in great abundance. He continu'd to use the sword for about a quarter of an hour, sometimes pricking his hands and sometimes his feet, with little, or no intermission: and then he threw it away and kept on dancing. When he was quite spent with fatigue, his motion began to grow slower, but the people beg'd of me to keep up the same tune, as he could not dance accordingly, he only moved his body and kept time; at last after two hours dancing, fell down quite motionless, and I gave over playing. The people took him up and carried him into a house, and put him into a large tub of tepid water, and a surgeon bled him; while he was bathing he was let blood in both his hands and feet and took from him a great quantity of blood; after they had tied up the orifices, put him in a bed and gave him a cordial, which they forced down, because the man kept his teeth very close. About 5 minutes after, he sweated a great deal and fell asleep, which he did for five or six hours, when he awakened, was perfectly well, only weak for the great loss of blood he had sustained and four days after he was entirely recover'd....
Stephen Storace, 'A genuine letter from an Italian gentleman concerning the bite of the tarantula', Gentleman's Mag., September 1753