Readers’ wildlife photos

We’ve had a lot of spider pictures lately, but we (or at least I) never tire of arachnids. These come from reader Andrée Sanborn; her notes are indented:

Here are some spiders from the summer. Some are from home and some are from school. The kids bring me all sorts of creatures and spiders seem to be one of their favorites (or the easiest for them to capture). Photos from Barton and Morgan, Vermont
The following is a Bronze Jumper (Eris militaris), male, that I stumbled upon while he was hunting in the alders. He watched me as I shot and was pretty cooperative.
Here is a small crab spider (Misumena) with a Hairy Flower Scarab Beetle (a chafer) (Trichiotinus assimilis). They were unconcerned with each other.
Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia), below, with an unidentified bee.
Below: Araneus sp.; a mature male on school building. All the kids know Araneus cavaticus (barn spider) from their barns and out buildings and also because they grow very large and dangle. A. cavaticus (which this probably is not) is Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web.
This is a special spider to me: a Grass Spider (Agelenopsis). A student found her walking across his kitchen one morning. She is very pregnant (I couldn’t tell, but a spider person told me). Her spinnerets are visible. These are the spiders that make the webs that you will see in the early morning dew in fields. You can lie down with a bit of grass and tickle the web and the spider will come out for its prey. If you are quick you can get a photo of it before it returns to the depths of its web. The kids and I love to find them this time of year. After photos and ID, we released her (as we do all our creatures) to lay her eggs. Unfortunately, she will die after she lays them.


  1. Christopher
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I’m always impressed with good spider pics. They are not the most cooperative of subjects, add to that my complete lack of photographic skill and you’ve got a recipe for blurry shots of retreating spiders’ butts.

  2. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Nice pictures! The jumping spider is not a male. It is indeed fun to look for the camouflaged crab spiders among flowers by simply looking for a flower visiting bee or fly that does not look right. A crab spider is probably the reason.

    • Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Dthank you, Mark I was told, but I’ll change my tags immediately.

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Tickling the spider’s web. I wonder if a spider ever gets annoyed and if it could, would grumble as it ambles back to its hiding spot.

    • Posted October 15, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure, Diana. But it gives me a great idea. The boys love to catch flies. We can give them an award for coming forward. Will they learn our tickling signal? It’s well worth a try next season. 🙂

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 16, 2017 at 3:17 am | Permalink

      Argiope aurantia (the Yellow Garden Spider) will vigorously vibrate their webs when disturbed. It can be quite startling.

      • Posted October 16, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

        Love those, Diane. I’ve found two here at home in all these years (but just recently read that I found mine in the open and one dangling off an eave, which is unusual, so I’ve been looking in all the wrong places). But staff who has a berry farm found one and brought it to me. After an unsuccessful photo session (even in enclosed lightbox), I let her free at home to repopulate the orchard and fields. Bouncy little things and love their zigzag webs.

  4. Mark R.
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    These are great. Thanks for the 8-legged critters.

  5. Posted October 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Nice shooting… interesting, grim, sad, a day in the life stuff.. really liked the last, detail with a shadow.

    • Posted October 15, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      It is grim,laingholm. I suffer from irrational bias towards certain bugs for killing bugs I Like: robber flies are on the top of my list.

  6. Diane G.
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Love the spiders! Thanks Andrée! And also your write-ups–a perfect example of how the more you know about an animal, the cooler it gets. Your kids and students are very lucky.

  7. Posted October 18, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Haven’t been keeping up with the blog the last few days but I’m always glad to see more spider pics!

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