Oct 7, 2008

Spider Gala 2

It's time for another spider gala. I'm clearing out my to-do box of spiders and sweeping them onto the blog. Enjoy. For any of you arachnophiles, if you can ID these, that'd be great.

Hannah's lab has a new resident: Gustav the Spider. He's now living in a pink pipette box, where he is fed a variety of live insects by the lab's students. Hannah thinks it's a member of the Agelenopsis genus - garden spiders. Any takers?

Laura gets to look out her window every morning to see this weaver. The web's about two feet across, just big enough to catch the dreams she had whilst slumbering.

Shane wanted to send along this 'West Palm Beach Spider.' To give you a sense of scale, Shane would like to point out that that strip above the spider is the husk of what's left of a 40 foot anaconda.

Last we have Liz's eight-legged encounter. She discovered this spider (wolf?) lurking behind the glass of the call buttons for her apartment complex. In order to buzz an apartment, one has to reach across this spider. I think I'd prefer to have a bell hop greet me.


Haphazardkat said...


nonspecific said...

I would concur with #1, grass spider/funnel web weaver. Past that, there are lots of different ones in that group, that all look pretty similar.

#2 and #4, it's pretty near impossible to ID from the underside in a picture.

#3 looks like a Golden silk orbweaver, Nephila clavipes. Yes, they get frikkin' huge.

Paul said...

Just guessin', but #1 looks like a pugilist spider, and #3 is almost definitely a banana spider. I used to live in FL, and the state is full of those things. They're harmless, but they weave huge webs that cover your body when you accidentally walk into one (a disturbingly frequent situation), leaving you thrashing around with the thought of a spider the size of your hand crawling around somewhere on your body... *shudder*

Aazhekiel said...

"Banana" spider = Golden Orb Weaver.

I have a great photo of a friend who likes to ride his mountain bike through the trails in the woods... he came home wrapped in webs, with a golden orb weaver perched on his helmet.

I'm from Alabama, live in Florida, and they're all throughout the Gulf Coast. I love them, and our spiny orb weavers, and our various anoles... they all eat pest bugs. The spiders have been smart enough to weave their webs just above head height on our porch.

It's fascinating to watch a golden orb weaver's family evolve... the big ones are the females, the males are about a sixth the size. You'll see the males hanging out in the web for a while... until they wither up and die. Soon, along come the young ones, and apparently there is pretty fierce competition for web-space, among siblings and among rival large females. I saw a large female come in and displace (eat, slurp hollow-out) the largest resident, but not bother the younger females that were nesting nearby. For a while we had three golden orb weavers and two other tiny orb weavers (dunno what they are, but they have a red spot that glows in the sun light they have an LED inside) all living on the same complex of webs. Never seen that before. It didn't last long, now there's just one female, waaaaay up the side of our house.

Liz said...

Yay, my spider! This totally made my day. I'm not sure how he got in there, but based on the remains of what I saw in there, I'm not sure how he'll get out either :(

Shane said...

Aye, my submission was a Bannana Spider, I have several extremely large webs in my yard. My father was actually mowing the lawn (in his beloved ride on mower), and looked up just in time to slam into reverse in order to avoid one that was nearly as big as my hand!

This one however was safely ensonced in a tree where I was working on my car. (I realized after that he was there because the worklights were attracting lots of delicious meals).

Thanks for the feature RW! Glad to do my part to bring the ugly into the spotlight!

Jade said...

I don't have time to look up the latin names, but here's a quick rundown:

#1- Looks like a mature male wolf spider, but I'm not 100% because of all the webbing. It _may_ be something else that happen to be sexually dymorphic. I'd need some time to research it in better depth. I would still lean toward a Lycosa sp., though.

#2- common orb weaver/ wood spider. One of the better spiders to have around because they make the prettiest webs :)

#3- My all-time favorite true spider. It's the golden silk spider/ banana spider/ writing spider/ whatever you want to call it. One of the larger true spiders, I've seen these guys with 5" leg spans. A TRUE beauty!

#4- VERY hard to tell from this angle. If it's climbing on the other side of glass, though, it's not a wolf spider. Wolves lack the pads needed to cling to glass or other smooth surfaces. I would need to see the other side to give you a good ID on it.

/resident arachnologist :)

Jade said...

Update: #1 may be a fishing spider. Just a random thought. Again, I don't have time to turn to my books for a perfect ID right now.

Liz said...

Sorry for the bad angle :/ Unfortunately it was the only one I could get. If I see it again I'll tap the glass to see if it will turn around. And it might be plastic, I've never touched it...

Raging Wombat said...

Thank YOU, Shane and Liz. And also, to all of you arachnologists--you're amazing.