by Carl Strang
Spider webs are delightful structures, and one of my favorites is that of the bowl and doily spider.
I was able to find the relatively small builder in the photo, and thought I might see if the species could be identified from it.
It proved to be no contest. There is only one species that makes this kind of web east of the Mississippi, Fontinella communis. Having gotten that far, I did a little reading on their natural history. The double web structure is thought to provide protection from predators above and below. The spider waits on the lower outside surface of the bowl. Prey enter the bowl, are tripped up by its interior cross strands, and fall to the bottom. The spider bites the prey, pulls them through the web, and wraps them.