Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have some beautiful spider photos, including several mimics, from Tony Eales in Oz. His notes are indented.

Arkys curtulus family Arkyidae. I’m on a mission to photograph all of the described Arkys species in Australia and this is my latest. A tiny little thing known as a Bird-dropping Arkys. [JAC: the name, of course, comes from its cryptic appearance, mimicking a bird dropping]

Celaenia distincta family Araneidae.  I was amazed when I found this crazy-looking creature with its festooned horn-like structures at the back of its abdomen. This photo has been turned 180o. They normally hang at the bottom of a string of egg sacs that are covered in woolly webbing.

Cyclosa sp. family Araneidae.  This genus is known for creating patterns made of debris in its web to confuse predators/parasites/prey (the jury is still out). This story about a Cyclosa in the Philippines that creates a decoy spider in its web did the rounds a while back. The common Cyclosa where I am create a straight line that goes diagonally almost across the entire web and then they stretch themselves out in a gap in the centre of the line.

Isopeda vasta family Sparassidae. This is one of the large Huntsmans that is very common under bark of trees in the suburbs and bushland. We rarely get this one indoors, but some species do like to come inside and prey on cockroaches.

Ligonipes sp. ‘White-brows” family Salticidae. Ant-mimicking spiders are my favourites and this was a new one for me, a fairly common but undescribed species of Ligonipes, the “white brows” are white marks behind the anterior eyes. This one has a small fly as prey.

Miagrammopes sp family Uloboridae.  A weird-looking genus in a weird family. The Uloboridae are venom-less spiders, the only family known without venom glands and they also don’t have sticky silk, instead their silk is woolly and relies on tangling the prey. They wrap up their victims then vomit digestive juices over the package and slurp it back up. This genus has only four eyes and their placement gives it a sort of squid-like look.

Poltys sp. family Araneidae. The members of this genus are known as Twig Spiders. When they draw their legs up close to their body they are almost indistinguishable from a small broken twig on a branch. At night they sit in the centre of their orb web like a typical Araneid which was how I found this one.

Sidymella trapezia family Thomisidae.  A strangely geometrical looking Crab Spider. Not sure what advantage the shape is except that it doesn’t look like anything much else in nature so maybe it’s not appetising.

Tetragnatha sp. family Tetragnathidaesp. family Tetragnathidae.  The four-jawed spiders are so called because of their hinged chelicerae which you can see in this photo. It is manipulating a piece of flower that got stuck in its web with its pedipalps. This is a female with small pedipalps. Male Tetragnatha spp. can have huge pedipalps with a swollen terminal segment and a large spiral shaped needle coming out as you can see in the second picture of a different Tetragnatha sp. (a male):



  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 27, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink


    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 27, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink


      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted July 27, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        Did not see that coming

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 27, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    The translucent spider is fascinating

  3. Posted July 27, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Wow! I love these. Thank you for sharing.
    Huntsmen spiders are really big, but my impression from online mentionings is that they are pretty mellow about being handled.

    • tjeales
      Posted July 27, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      They’re non-aggressive and don’t a reputation for being bitey but in my experience they tend to have two speeds dead stop and sudden lightning dashes so they’re generally not great for handling

      • Barbara Radcliffe
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        Many years ago, in Adelaide, we had a ‘pet’ huntsman in our bathroom. We named it Fred, although it was probably Freda. It was remarkably friendly, and would take freshly killed (with a fly swat) flies when offered on the end of pin. Since then we have called all huntsmen (huntsman) ‘Fred’s Friend). I don’t know what became of Fred. S/he seemed to become irritated with steam from the shower, and probably left on all 8 tiptoes.

  4. Posted July 27, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    The variety and adaptations are amazing! Great pix!

  5. Jenny Haniver
    Posted July 27, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    These are so cool, the spiders themselves and the photography.

  6. Glenda Palmer
    Posted July 27, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Amazing spiders and photos with perfect comment. Thank you.

  7. rickflick
    Posted July 27, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Spiders are such a fascinating and large group. Lot’s to keep researchers busy for many years.

  8. DutchA
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 12:45 am | Permalink


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