Thursday, 13 December 2012

Spiders of Malaysia

    I was very fortunate to meet Lawrence Siow online today.
    Lawrence lives in Malaysia and is a freelance photographer.
    He has very kindly allowed me to post some of his amazing Macro
    photographs of Spiders that he has found.
    I look forward to seeing more of Lawrence's fantastic work!
    More of Lawrence's photography can be seen on his Facebook page HERE.

    Ant-mimic Spider
    Myrmarachne sp. ?
    Jumping Spiders
    I think this beauty is the Malaysian Orange Huntsman
    Thelcticopis modesta
    Sparassidae sp.
    Argiope sp. ?
    Batu Pahat
    Johor, Malaysia
    All Photographs copyright Lawrence Siow 2012

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Spiders of India

    My friend Julia Ratcliffe has very kindly allowed me to post this great
    photo of a Spider that she and her partner found "in the State of Megalaya
    next state to Assam in the Tribal regions of India. The wettest place on earth
    is called Cherrepunjee. It is a deep jungle valley with loads of bizarre insects
    there. We were told they find new species there often. We saw loads of these
    strange purple and black wasps about the size of your thumb and loads of
    weird spiders".
    Family : Nephilidae
    Genus : Herennia
    Possibly Herennia multipunctata, known as the Fluted orb weaving Spider.
    Many thanks to Mark Bushell for Id.
    H. multipuncta is an invasive species and is synanthropic, often found in
    houses, gardens, farms, roadsides, garbage dumps.
    Like in the related genus Nephilengys, the much smaller males mutilate and
    sever their pedipalps, which are often found stuck in the epigynum or female
    genital openings. It is suggested that they act as mating plugs to prevent other
    males from mating with the female and thereby ensure the paternity of
    offspring. The males cannot mate subsequently and such "eunuch"
    individuals continue to stay near the female. (Wikipedia)
    December 2012
    Photograph by Julia Ratcliffe 

Friday, 5 October 2012

Nigma puella

    Family : Dictynidae 
    Genus : Nigma
    I am very happy to have found this Species. Quite uncommon.
    I walked right upto it. 'Very locally distributed in the South of England and 
    Wales. Apparently rare or absent from the rest of the region but recorded
    from Southern Europe, Canaries and Madeira' : Source - Collins Field Guide 
    to Spiders of Britain and Northern Europe by Michael J. Roberts.

    Juvenile - about 1.5mm in size!
    The King's Head
    East Hoathly
    East Sussex

    Nigma puella summary by The Spider Recording Scheme

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Neriene sp.

    Family : Linyphiidae
    Genus : Neriene
    Many thanks to Peter Harvey for the information.
    "..looks like Neriene clathrata female or subadult. This is a spider found at
    ground level or with a web close to the ground. Confirmation should require
    microscopical examination, since the genus contains closely similar species,
    leaving aside the possibilitity of European species not yet recorded in
    this country". Peter Harvey BAS

    I found this Spider at ground level, in grass around wooden decking next to a
    pond, approximately 1ft away from a Neottiura bimaculata
    Stanmer Park, Brighton

Monday, 13 August 2012

Dictyna sp.

    Family : Dictynidae
    Genus : Dictyna
    The Web is similar in all species, a thin 'blanket' over the top of a leaf, or on
    dead plants.

    "Probably Dictyna uncinata" Peter Harvey BAS
    I found this Spider in the Cemetery at Shepton Montague, Somerset.

    "Probably Dictyna uncinata" Peter Harvey BAS
     I found this Spider in a layby on a dual carriageway.

Huntsman spiders

    Family : Sparassidae
    These Spiders are also known as Giant Crab Spiders.
    My friend Lyn Paul from Brisbane, Australia, very kindly sent me this
    photograph and allowed me to post it here.
    In Lyn's words - "...we had this one for a long time, not as a pet, 
    just as a co-resident ... he was harmless, and was a great distraction for
    the kids. They are very friendly. This one lived in the kitchen for many
    months, then moved to another room, and got jammed behind the wall unit
    and died".
    Holconia immanis? Female
    If it is this Species, they are one of the largest Huntsmen found in Australia.
    Photograph by Lyn Paul  
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Neottiura bimaculata

    Family : Theridiidae
    Many thanks to Peter Harvey of the British Archnological Society for id.
    I found this Spider at ground level in grass around wooden decking next to a
    Stanmer Park, Brighton
    Summary for Neottiura bimaculata on the Spider Recording Scheme :

Monday, 2 July 2012

Zilla diodia

    Family - Araneidae
    Genus - Zilla
    A first for me! Single European species. Distinctive markings on the abdomen.
    Restricted to the South in the UK.
    Victoria Recreation Ground
    Surbiton, Kingston Upon Thames

Monday, 18 June 2012

Spiders of New Hampshire

    Darcey Mussey very kindly sent me these amazing Photographs she took of
    Spiders she found in New Hampshire, USA.

    Jumping Spider
    Family : Salticidae
    Darcey told me this great little story : 'I swear when I finished taking
    its picture, I said "thank you" and put my finger up to it... and it put its little
    foot on my finger like a handshake!'
    Franklin, NH, Summer 2010
    Agelenidae ?
    Hill, NH
    Family : Araneidae
    Alexandria, NH
    Summer 2010
    Family : Pisauridae
    Hill, NH
    Araniella sp. ?
    Franklin, NH
    Summer 2010
    Darcey tells me - 'This one, I found in my sink a few years ago. It's a little
    red from some tomato sauce'.
    Franklin, NH
    Summer 2010
    Jumping Spider
    Family : Salticidae
    Franklin, NH
    Spring 2012
    This Jumping Spider has beautiful iridescent green Chelicerae.
    Family : Salticidae
    Franklin, NH
    Summer 2010
    All Photographs by Darcey Mussey

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Redback Spider - Latrodectus hasseltii

    Family: Theridiidae
    Genus: Latrodectus
    A member of the family known as Widow Spiders. Redbacks are considered
    one of the most dangerous species of spider in Australia.
    They produce a Neurotoxic venom, which can cause severe pain, which in
    some cases can last for some time, often for over 24 hours. Very few
    deaths as a result of a Redback's bite have been recorded and no deaths have
    been recorded since 1956 when an Antivenom was produced.
    Females are usually a deep black colour, often with an obvious red stripe on
    the upper abdomen. On the underside of the abdomen there is an 'hourglass'
    shaped red spot. They usually prey on insects but they can capture larger
    animals that become entangled in their web, including large Crickets, large
    Spiders, small Lizards, even small Snakes.
    The Redback spider is one of few Arachnids which display sexual
    cannibalism while mating. (Wikipedia)

    My good friend Luc Stefan recently sent me this video of a Female Redback
    Spider tending to her Egg Sac. The remains of a Huntsman Spider
    (Sparassidae) can be seen in the Redbacks web.

    Filmed by Luc Stefan in early January 2012 in a cellar in the Barossa Valley,
    South Australia. 

    Gordon Grice, Author of 'The Red Hourglass' and 'The Book of Deadly 
    Animals' commented on this video and very kindly allowed me to reproduce 
    his words : "She's a beauty. I've spent many hours watching her American 
    cousins at their egg cases. The redback has been known to snare and siphon 
    some rather large tarantulas as well. I seem to recall one arachnologist 
    mentioning that he secured a nice specimen for his collection by stealing it 
    from a redback's web".

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


    I recently had the great pleasure to meet Cornelia Remmicke from Dresden,
    Germany, at my local Cemetery. I noticed she had a camera so I introduced
    myself. I explained that I was hunting for Spiders. Cornelia seemed 
    quite interested, so I took her on a Spider and Bug tour of the Cemetery.
    A most enjoyable and inspiring afternoon!
    Since returning home to Dresden, Cornelia very kindly sent me these
    photographs of a Pseudoscorpion that she found in her bathroom. Cornelia tells
    me it was less than 1cm in size and very fast.
    I think it is Chelifer cancroides, (also known as the Book Scorpion) as these 
    are commonly found in houses. I found one in my bathroom some years ago,
    sadly before I took Photographs and I have not seen one since.
    Pseudoscorpions are harmless to humans as they have no stinging tail as do
    true Scorpions. They are beneficial to us, as they prey on Clothes Moth
    Larvae, Carpet Beetle Larvae, Booklice, Mites, Ants and small Flies.
    Family : Pseudoscorpiones
    Class : Dromopoda - a subclass of the Arachnids
    Photographs by Cornelia Remmicke
    Dresden, Germany

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Golden Orb Weaver Spiders - Nephila sp.

    Russ Howarth very kindly sent me these photographs of two Golden
    Orb Weaver Spiders he observed in Koh Samui, Thailand.
    Russ has a great story of his observation to accompany these photographs:
   "..A web that spans streetlamps on either side of the road. One afternoon I
    spent a happy half-hour watching a tiny bird (Wingspan less than the spider's
    Legspan) hovering like a humming bird in front of these enormous webs,
    stealing a proportion of the spider's catch.
    There were between 1 and 3 webs stretched across each pair of lamposts
    for maybe 300 metres, the lamposts about 15 metres apart. Quite a colony
    I thought. The bird I tentatively identified as Arachnothera longirostra
    (Little Spider Hunter). I had assumed that it meant the bird ate spiders but
    this experience made me wonder if it hunted amongst spiders' webs.
    If Nephila sp. can capture birds it would explain the (anthropomorphism here)
    nervous way in which the bird took the prey from the web.
    As you may know smaller spiders build webs between the strands of
    Nephila sp.'s web. (that's how it looked to me) So maybe my little
    spider hunter was doing Nephila sp. a favour by removing smaller rivals".

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Arachnids of South Corsica

    Murielle Leroy very kindly sent me these Photographs from her trip to
    Corsica in July, 2010
    Argiope lobata
    Family - Araneidae
    Genus - Argiope
    Male - 6mm / Female - upto 25mm
    Known as the Lobed Argiope.
    Quite a large Orb Weaving Spider found all over Africa and stretching
    to Southern Europe and into Asia.
    Distinctive zig-zag pattern/ ribboning (stabilimenta) emanating from the centre
    of the Orb Web, thought to be a disguise from predators by camouflaging the
    Spider or making it appear larger.
    A relative of the UK's Wasp Spider - Argiope bruennichi.

    Murielle told me that her friend who is responsible for Species Recording
    at the Nature Reserve had never seen this Spider there before.
    "Le sentier des Bruzzi" : "The footpath of the Bruzzi"
    Réserve Naturelle des Bouches de Bonifacio
    South Corsica
    Photo's by Murielle Leroy
    July 2010
    The European or Mediterranean Black Widow Spider - Malmignatte
    Latrodectus tredecimguttatus
    Family - Theridiidae
    Genus - Latrodectus 
    Identified by the distinctive 13 Spots on the Abdomen.
    The Species name is Latin for 'with 13 Spots'.
    Females have a painful bite but rarely fatal.
    Female Juvenile. All Black when Adult. 10-15mm (Females)
    Photograph by Candice Durand.
    The Spider was found in her young Son's shoe!
    Pianottoli-Caldarello Village
    South Corsica
    August 2010
    Here is an excerpt from The Life of The Spider by Jean Henri Fabre 1912,
    in which he writes of the Malmignatte:
    ' ..the Malmignatte, the terror of the Corsican peasantry. I have seen her
    settle in furrows, lay out her web and rush boldly at insects larger than
    herself; I have admired her garb of black velvet speckled with carmine red;
    above all, I have heard most disquieting stories told about her. Around Ajaccio
    and Bonifacio, her bite is reputed very dangerous, sometimes mortal. The
    countryman declares this for a fact and the doctor does not always dare deny
    Murielle informs me that even though this was written 100 years ago, the
    locals still think this way.
    Origin of Malmignatte: It malmignatta, fr. mal, malo bad (fr. L malus) +
    mignatta leech.
    (Source -

    This Crab Spider seems spoilt for choice, or outnumbered!
    Photographs by Candice Durand.
    South Corsica
    Synaema globosum
    Family: Thomisidae
    Genus : Synaema
    South Corsica
    Photographs and Id by Candice Durand.
    False Widow - Steatoda nobilis
    Family: Theridiidae
    Genus: Steatoda
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Candice Durand.
    A Jumping Spider - Salticidae
    Heliophanus sp.
    Heliophanus lineiventris (?)
    South Corsica
    Photograph by Candice Durand.

    I think these Spiders are Clubiona sp.
    Family : Clubionidae

    Steatoda triangulata
    Family : Theridiidae
    Genus : Steatoda
    A member of the family known as False Widow Spiders. They are thought to
    have originated from Eurasia.

    Harvestman - Opiliones
    Relatives of Spiders   

    Holocnemus pluchei
    Family : Pholcidae

    Known as the Marbled Cellar Spider.
    I think a type of Money Spider - Linyphiidae.
    Impressive Palps on this Male!
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Candice Durand.

    Drassodes sp.
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Candice Durand. 
    Red Backed Jumping Spider
    Phidippus sp.
    South Corsica
    Photograph by Candice Durand.

    Juvenile Male Running Crab Spider
    Philodromus sp
    Spiderlings - I don't know which Species.
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Candice Durand.

    Male Labyrinth Spider
    Agelena labyrinthica
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Jacquet Lorenzo (Aged 10 years).

    Jumping Spider - Salticidae
    Philaeus chrysops (?)
    Candice tells me, the Spider jumped at her Lens and then shied away from
    her camera.
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Candice Durand.

    A type of Orb Weaver.
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Jacquet Lorenzo (Aged 10 years).
    I think this is Agaleneata redii
    Family : Araneidae
    Genus : Agaleneata
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Jacquet Lorenzo (Aged 10 years).

    I think this is Hogna radiata
    Family: Lycosidae
    Genus : Hogna
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Candice Durand.
    Holocnemus pluchei with Eggs
    Family : Pholcidae

    South Corsica
    Photographs by Candice Durand.

    I think this is Hogna radiata
    Family: Lycosidae
    Genus : Hogna

    Araneus diadematus
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Candice Durand.
    I think this is Hogna radiata
    Family: Lycosidae
    Genus : Hogna
    South Corsica
    Photographs by Candice Durand.
    Female carrying Spiderlings
    I think this is Hogna radiata
    Family: Lycosidae
    Genus : Hogna
    Photographs by Julien Girard
    Figari, South Corsica
    Jumping Spider
    Photographs by Lorenzo
    Thomisus onustus
    Family : Thomisidae 
    Genus : Thomisus
    Photograph by Julien Girard
    Figari, South Corsica
    Holocnemus pluchei
    Family : Pholcidae
Known as the Marbled Cellar Spider.

    Agelena labyrinthica
    Family : Agelenidae
    Photo's by Candice Durand
    Pianottoli, South Corsica