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.