Posts Tagged 'spiders'
Tags: Brooklyn, Prospect Park, spiders
Appropriation of the unnatural: this fence post has been taken over by what I think is a sheet-web building grass spider of the genus Agelenopsis. Note the funnel descending into the post. That’s where she hangs out. I picked up a leaf and gently tapped the other end of the webbing, which brought her out alert and curious. About 1.25″ long.
Tags: invertebrates, New York Botanical Garden, spiders
Daddy-, or Granddaddy-longlegs… but wait a minute. There are only six legs here. The Opiliones order of harvestman are related to spiders and have eight legs. What’s going on? It looks like the first joint to the right of the face is missing a limb, so presumably is the other side. Missing that joint, too, it looks like. This one could still move pretty well, though. There are over 5000 species of these critters in the world, with 235 known in North America (these numbers from Evans, who pictures two of them; so many bugs, so little time!). They aren’t venomous, and don’t have fangs so they don’t bite. The dark nob on top is an eye. As I was getting the lens close, I felt another on my camera hand, smaller bodied and lighter colored. I blew gently on it to get it to reverse course.
Tags: bees, dragonflies, insects, invertebrates, spiders, Texas
Walking Stick on Peter’s bins. Texas has at least 16 species. Leaf-cutter ant (Atta texana) highway. The ants are returning to their sprawling underground colonies with leaf fragments, which, farmer-like, they feed to the fungus they actually eat.Thornbush Dasher (Micrathyria hagenii).Band-winged Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax umbrata).Antlion. This is the adult stage.We saw many antlion traps, where buried nymphs wait for their lunch to fall down into the soft sand pits. Large Carpenter bee of some kind in the bottlebrush. Texan Crescents (Anthanassa texana) perpetuating the species.
I think this is a male Arizona Desert Tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes), also known as Arizona Blond Tarantula because of the female’s coloring. Our intrepid, and hawk-eyed, guide Jake swerved the van out of the way and then backed up to coax this spider onto his hand. And then, up his wrist.The males wander over a wide range searching for females this time of year, usually at night. The reddish hairs on the abdomen are urticating, that is stinging, so no petting. The bite is no worse than a bee sting. But according to the American Tarantula Society (well, obviously!) the things are harmless. I hadn’t read that when Jake offered up a chance a to hold this guy. There were various “no thank yous,” from my van mates but I proffered my hand… cautiously, but eagerly.
I was breaking down a head of broccoli and had gotten to the best part, the stem, which unfortunately was hollowed out by rot, when this one scootled across the chopping block for the cover of cleaver on its side. What the hell, I thought, good luck, spider. Later, though, it started up the wall and looked out of place so I captured it and released it into the Back 40.
Back to the great Southwest tomorrow.