Insects

Arachnophobia Alert

What is it about spiders with their eight legs and eight eyes that make spiders so creepy?

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Even the little ones make me want to keep my distance. I was however quite interested in this one, because I don’t recall seeing one like this before. It is a Ground Spider (Cesonia bilineata). They do not make a web to capture prey, but run prey down on the surface.

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Dock spiders are Canada’s largest spiders. These too don’t spin webs to catch their prey. They use two large fangs to inject them with venom. They do spin webs to protect their young, but the mother carries the egg sacs in her fangs until they are nearly ready to hatch. She then spins a web for them to shelter in as up to 1,000 of her babies hatch.

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It is weird the way that dock spiders can walk on water. Their weight is distributed in a way that the surface tension of the water is not broken, so their feet don’t even get wet.

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This Tan Jumping Spider (Platycryptus undatus) was tiny. It was so well camouflaged that when I did spot it, it made me JUMP!

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This Banded Garden Spider is an Orb-web spider (Argiope trifasciata). It took me by surprise! I was sitting next to some reeds and suddenly noticed her (it is a female) really close to me. She was quite large and motionless. I disturbed her web without knowing she was there, but she just sat tight. Apparently their web is eaten and rebuilt each day, which makes me feel better about destroying half her web.

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This is a Sheet Web Spider (Linyphiidae). They build their webs horizontally instead of vertically and spend their whole life upside down.

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It is interesting that a traditional spiders web is not the web of most spiders. The most impressive web I have seen is that of a Funnel Weaver Spider (Agelenidae).

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You can almost miss spotting it amongst the long grass.

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The spider lies in wait in the funnel. I am not sure if the spider of this web was out and about, but there was a spider in the top middle of the picture. I didn’t notice it at the time. I assumed the spider was in the tunnel and lying in wait. It wasn’t until I took a closer look at my photograph that I noticed it. Unfortunately I was focused on the web, so the spider isn’t very clear for me to now try and identify it. Apparently the bite of the Hobo Spider (Eratigena agrestis), one of the funnel-web spiders, can be an issue, so I am glad I didn’t actually encounter it!

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I did see some action on a web with this spider.

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It seems to be a Sheetweb Spider (Linyphiinae).

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Harvestmen are arachnids, which are not considered spiders because they only have one body part and two eyes. They also do not possess venom and have no silk glands.

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Harvestmen are unique because they are able to break off their leg if a predator grabs it, leaving a twitching leg, but allowing the arachnid to escape. The leg is not regenerated, but they seem to get around OK with one missing.

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It was interesting to see how mites are parasitizing this Harvestman.

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