Tuesday, 11 February 2014

More cool crab spiders

It's been a little quiet on my blog scene for the last few weeks. It's field work season (yay!) so I'm spending my time out searching for my golden orb weavers and writing up a paper (stay tuned!).

Even though I'm not currently sorting my samples, I wanted to share some more cool little spiders I found a few weeks ago.

I have posted about crab spiders before (don't you think it looks like a Persian rug?) and they are quickly becoming my 3rd favorite family/group of spiders (1st has to be my study species, Nephila and 2nd goes to jumping spiders).

So here are a few more crab spiders which have really amazed me.

First, a tiny little spider from the genus Bominae (that is the head of a pin!)

Now for a closer look, see how the abdomen is like a concertina? I'm guessing this is so that the abdomen can expand when the spider is gravid. I've never seen it in larger spiders so maybe it's a consequence of being very small?

See some much better photos here.

And just quickly, two other species that caught my eye from the Genus Sidymella.

The long arms on these species are used to catch prey as they sit out on the end of leaves or branches. I don't know what the protrusions on the first species abdomen are for, but the second was very cleverly disguising itself as a twig when I found it.

Sometimes I feel a little bad collecting them when they have tried so hard to remain unseen, but it also makes me wonder about all the camouflaged spiders out there that I'm not finding!