Gathan Beaga

tailed spider

At a slightly loose end this afternoon (through my own laziness really) I picked up the camera and headed outside. The nice thing about our garden, being a fairly overgrown and wild place, is that interesting beasties are always close by: stick insects and jumping spiders and praying mantises and katydids and green tree spiders and butterflies and wetas and harvestmen (that latter harvestman being not your everyday kind) and nursery-web spiders.

And now this:

Tailed spider: back view

She’s apparently a tailed spider, Arachnura feredayi according to Forster & Forster. I’d never seen one before, except in the book. She was hanging off a tatty web on one of our cabbage trees. Just as described, she looked like a piece of broken twig or bark about a centimetre long caught in a web – until she moved. I picked her off her web. The strands were strong and very sticky, snapping with an audible pop.

Her tail was quite flexible and twitched away from my finger. Weird. I took her away to where I could photo her better, but the light was too bright (some sunshine! at last!). So back she went to her cabbage tree, where I took most of these.

And once again, I learn that it’s a hard road taking the perfect spider photo. I suspect that no matter how good the camera, one would still need to take lots to get the good(ish) ones, as happened again today. There’s a lot I have to learn about capturing images of small things…

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