Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Tony Eales from Australia sent us a passel of arthropods. His notes are indented.

I found another of the Whip Spiders (Ariamnes colubrinus) that I sent in recently. This one shows how their elongated bodies provide great camouflage.

Here’s a photo of the species from Wikipedia showing its body separate from the legs:

I came across a scene of a White-tailed Spider (Lampona cylindrata); actually there’s a lot of confusion over both the genus and species of these spiders) stalking a House Spider (Badumna sp.). Apparently they are obligate spider eaters and Badumna are a favourite. White-tails have an unfair bad reputation. It’s widely believed that the bites of White-tailed spiders cause a necrotising ulceration, but research indicates that this is a myth. As a result they are reviled and feared. They are aggressive and will bite if they feel threatened and are common in houses in some parts of Australia.

White-tailed spider:

House spider:

I startled this Mantispid Lacewing right into a spider-web. I rescued it and it thanked me with a great photo shoot. It’s probably Ditaxis biseriata but these are really hard to ID.

This is one of my favourites. It’s a large Tachinid fly whose larvae are parasites on snails. They’re impressively coloured and about the size of a small grape. Apparently they are impossible to properly ID without a microscope, but this one is in the genus Rutilia (Ameniamima) sp.

Lastly, a cute and teeny-tiny jumping spider. Again ID is difficult. It’s either Simaethula aurata or S. auronitens. They’re so tiny: only about 2mm max.

19 Comments

  1. W.T. Effingham
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Excellent images. The colors and textures are quite vivid. The tiny jumping spider appears to be stifling a giggle.

    • tjeales
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      I can’t un-see that now 😀

  2. Posted September 16, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    That is one impressive fly! The spiders are nice too.

  3. Glenda Palmer
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the great photos and interesting notes.

  4. rickflick
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Delightful arthropods. I vote for the lacewing. Right out of a Hollywood monster lab.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Jesus wept, are those mouth parts on the lacewing?!

      • Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        Do you mean the front legs?

        • Claudia Baker
          Posted September 16, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I did, but then I looked at a video and saw that they are legs that they fold up like that. Would still make a great horror flick.

          • Posted September 17, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

            Yes, a little like praying mantis. They are a bit freaky at first, aren’t they, like ginormous mandibles.

  5. Posted September 16, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    For you jumping spider fans, you might enjoy Lucas the Spider on YouTube.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    A mighty fine collection of photos today. That lacewing was wild! Preying mantis mandibles?

    • tjeales
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Fore-legs rather than mandibles.

  7. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Late to the party. Great stuff! I really enjoy your pictures and commentary.
    What is interesting with your Mantispid is that it has feet on its front legs. They are described as not having those, so they don’t generally walk with those legs. But as always, there must be exceptions I suppose.

    • tjeales
      Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      I heard that biology is the science of exceptions. 🙂

  8. Jenny Haniver
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    These are beautiful photographs, along with nice descriptions.

  9. Posted September 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Terrific work, Tony! Thanks!

  10. Posted September 17, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Appreciate the extreme close-ups so I can really really see how the critters are constructed!

  11. Zetopan
    Posted September 19, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    “… a cute and teeny-tiny jumping spider.”

    Tony has found Lucas!!


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