Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Tony Eales from Queensland has sent “a passel of arachnids”: his notes are indented:

The first are relatively common web spinning spiders. Cyrtophera moliccensis is the Tent Spider, so called because of the dome-like structure it forms in its large tangled web. They are very common in gardens and bushland around here.

The Tetragnathid spiders are all bizarre looking things and many have reflective skin on their abdomen, some looking like a mirror. I have photos of two here, Leucauge sp and Thwaitesia nigronodosa [in order below].

Also from my leaf litter sifting I find many different spiders, most are too tiny and young to identify but the jumping spiders stand out, even if getting them down to species is impossible. There is apparently a species complex of undescribed members of the Saitis genus variously described by the patterns on their abdomen, this one is Saitis sp aff exclamation mark.

The other is just some extremely photogenic Jumping Spider.

Another leaf litter lurker belongs to the Crab Spider family, Tharpyna diademata.

Some of the more unusual arachnids I’ve come across scratching around in the dirt are Pseudoscorpions (they were the reason I first started sifting through leaf litter, I just wanted to see one in real life) and a small rainforest harvestman, order Opiliones. [Pseudoscorpion first, then harvestman.]



  1. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Woo hoo! Two days of ‘bugs’ in a row! I really like the Thwaitesia. I swear it is trying to show a false head on its abdomen.

    You got some powerful lenses to show a tiny pseudoscorpion. The harvestman picture also has a pseudoscorpion in it, and all that reminds me I need to go looking in leaf litter for little horrors like these.

    • tjeales
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Heh, no powerful lenses employed, only extension tubes for these ones. You can easily become obsessed in the leaf litter, it’s like opening presents never knowing what you’ll discover. I’m going to make a concerted effort to find some Peacock Jumping Spiders this summer. They’re leaf litter specialists

  2. Mark R.
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    These are great. Love those ogling eyes. 🙂

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