Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Ladybug Mimic Spider (Paraplectana duodecimmaculata)

There is such a thing as a ladybug mimic spider (Paraplectana duodecimmaculata). It's cute, polka-dotted, and EIGHT legged. There's some lovely pictures here at Macro Photography in Singapore, but so far I'm drawing a blank on finding much real information. There's another beautiful one here on, but not even any information about who took it, where or why. Most frustrating! Anyone got any further links and legends to suggest? I've found bits n pieces saying it looks like a ladybug so that it looks like it tastes as bad as a ladybug, but nothing on where it lives or what it eats itself or anything like that. I'm sort of guessing that it *might* just live in Singapore, but past that, nothing! (Ok, this, but all that is an acknowledgement that such a creature exists, not a life history. Anyway, all fusses aside, I'm going to go to sleep happy knowing such a creature exists.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Spiders that build Decoys!

Take a look at this Wired article: "Spider That Builds its Own Spider Decoys. There are spiders in the Peruvian Amazon that build fake, decoy spiders in their webs. They're probably a new (to us--not to themselves) species. The decoys look pretty convincing to me, too!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ubelievably amazing: The Peacock Spider Maratus volans

Someone posted some pictures of these a while back, context-free, and of course I had to track them down! These little guys--and they are tiny--have brightly colored flaps that they raise in courtship display, just like peacocks (hence the name). Peacock Spider is a page devoted to them, whit lots of links going off for more information and videos and images. Better still, it's part of a truly well-organized site devoted to Australian spiders. Here's a lovely video: Catalyst: Peacock Spider - ABC TV Science, taken by Dr Jurgen Otto. And here is Dr. Otto's Flickr stream. I haven't finished looking through all the pictures yet myself. They truly are stunning. I love it when I learn about unxpected wonders.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Link: Spider Silk Strength

Hm, just found an article on Wired about spider silk strength. Apparently, it changes its flex based on the amount and duration of pressure on it & some strands breaking makes the others stronger. There wasn't much about how and why this works. Fascinating stuff.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Neoscona oaxancis

This is an old one/ I am not even sure when I meant to post it, just found it lurking in the drafts folder & figured it was about time the beautiful spider had her day in the sun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Certainty of Spiders

No matter where you go, there will be spiders.

Here are a number of them hiding out in tiny cracks in trees in Huntington Beach Parks.
This one is at Worthy Park.

Another resident of Worthy Park
And here's one lurking in Newland Park.

Busy Orb Weavers

Given all the cold weather we've been having, and the rain, I was surprised at how many large webs and weavers were still about. Usually, the first autumn rain drives them all away (or, more likely, kills them).
I spent some time admiring this orb weaver's beautiful silhouette as it worked. There was quite a distance between its chosen supports, so it really had to travel.

Monday, October 29, 2012

St. Francis of the Spiders

Saint Francis shows his love for all living creatures.
Sorry the blog has been so quiet of late. There have been spiders aplenty in this new garden of mine, fascinating spiders of many hues, but I have usually been in the middle of weeding or digging or planting or moving piled bricks (and disturbing spiders) and have not had my camera with me. SpiderWatch will resume... but I'm not sure when it will become regular again; there are many more garden projects yet to do, and the camera is ill-suited to mud, water, and rock.