Gathan Beaga

the spiders of summer, pt.1

As we get further into spring, not only do we get outdoors more, and at the same time the outdoor fauna becomes more active.

For example, the House Hoppers are becoming more active on the outside of the house, and I caught both a male and this very beautiful female, surely as pulchritudinous as some cartoon representation of a homely, anthropomorphic spider:

House Hopper (female)

The male was a cheeky wee chappie, like all his jumping spider kin – they remain my favourite kind of spider. I’m assuming he was a “he”, and of the same species, but I’m just not sure. His legs were much stripier, but I’m not enough of an arachnologist to have any idea what to look for.

Tunnelweb spider (female)Not so pretty was the large female tunnelweb spider Rebecca found under a sack of bark chips that had been undisturbed since last summer.

These are very common around our house; the most pleasing thing about them is that they are not wanderers and are seldom seen inside. However they are very large, from head to end about three centimeters not including the legs, and I never like being surprised by them when I’m in the garden. It is said they have a reasonable bite on them too, though I am not very willing to test it.

In my last posting, on the mantis hatchlings, I mentioned the large black-armed jumping spider we had inside. I took it outside in case we get any more hatchlings overnight tonight.

Black-armed jumping spider (male)These, particularly the males, are common inside during the warmer months (and their cousins, a smaller brown stripy species, seem to be year-round indoor visitors). With their binocular vision they do like to turn to face objects of interest, which allows us to anthropomorphise their actions to a shameful degree. But whatever – these are cool spiders.

No doubt I’ll be taking more photos over summer, particularly on sunny days when I have a decent amount of light. You have been warned.

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