On a recent visit to Hervey’s Range I was lucky enough to see a lot of small spiders. Many of them were unusual or attractive enough in themselves, or in what they were doing, to merit Green Path immortality, so here they are.
Most of them are small enough in real life to sit on a 20-cent piece without dangling their feet over the edge. Clicking or tapping on the small images will take you to images far larger than life size.
iNaturalist and Arachne.org both think “Northern Lined Hygropoda” is the common name for this small spider, Hygropoda lineata. I don’t think it even has a common name although the species is very common.
This adult female is arched protectively over her eggs.
The hairy crab
The well-named Hairy Crab Spider, Sidymella hirsuta, is an ambush hunter which rests on foliage with its front legs outstretched to capture unwary visitors.
We see its its smooth white relative the Spectacular Crab Spider (Thomisus spectabilis) much more often in most locations.
The spiky hunter
Lynx spiders are also ambush hunters, and they are not much bigger than the Crab spiders. We have two very abundant local species (this one, Oxyopes papuanus, and the Lean Lynx, O. macilentus). There are others, too, all much the same in size, coloration and spikiness.
The Happy Hunter
St Andrew’s Cross spiders are mid-sized orbweavers very much at home in our gardens. There are several similar species; this one is the ‘Northern’ one, Argiope aetherea.
I’m not sure what she has caught but it isn’t getting away and it’s a substantial meal for her (definitely ‘her’, by the way, because the males are tiny and brownish).
The invisible orb-weaver
Spiders in the genus Cyclosa make orb webs with a cross-bar of rubbish, mostly the remains of prey, and then rest in the middle.
Their bodies are slim, their legs lie alongside their abdomen and head, and their coloration matches the debris. Result: invisible spider – or so they hope, because invisibility is their only defence against predators.
How big are they? The cross-bar is about as thick as a big grass stem.
The species is ‘giant’ by name and adult females earn the name but this is a young one. Pulling one’s web back together after damage is a challenge, even with eight legs.
More pretty little spiders
An older post (2016) featuring spiders from the same location – two of the species included above, and one more.