Regularly occurring bouts of retinal movements suggest an REM sleep–like state in jumping spiders
"James O'Hanlon’s Silk and Venom: The Incredible Lives of Spiders is, at heart, a call for us to start telling better spider stories – stories that celebrate the incredible biology of these creatures, rather than focusing on the surprise, terror and disgust they evoke in some people."
Complicated spider web patterns: Nature is amazing https://www.advice.news/animals/complicated-spider-web-patterns-nature-amazing?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=mastodon #nature #spiders #spider_web
Does Portia look more like an ewok or the Lorax? 🤔
Known for their hunting expertise, Portia fimbriata, a.k.a. fringed jumping spiders, are often called the smartest spiders in the world. These tiny #arachnids must be smart and strategic because they eat other species of #spiders, some three times their size, and they even develop specific strategies for hunting different species. 🕷️🐻🧠
If you want to remove a spider from your flat but you're disgusted or slightly scared (very mild #arachnophobia), here's a trick:
1. Give the spider a name (like "Susy" or "Steven").
2. When approaching the spider with the glas jar, talk to it in a soothing voice, using its name, as if calming it down ("now, Susy, it's fine, just a glass jar, you'll be okay").
For me this does actually work.
Silver-sided sector spider, Zygiella x-notata, walking over its egg sack, moving its abdomen in ways that suggests it's laying more silky thread to protect the eggs.
Welcome to Carmen Moran, artist of “Collective Bargaining” in The Future Fire #67, and our long-time illustrator and collaborator, to the micro-interview season.
I'm in the news today, talking about invertebrate species moving northwards due to climate change:
An unexpected spotting. IDed as a Singapore Frontdoor Tarantula (Phlogiellus inermis), seen resting on a leaf next to the path at one-north Park: Fusionpolis South, Singapore, on 21 Nov 2023. These spiders are usually nocturnal, so seeing one in daylight is unusual.
On iNaturalist [ https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/191633885 ]
Do you like spiders?
...okay, even if you freak out when you a big one (I do too), maybe you'd like to KNOW more about them!
Here's a great video by @Plantecarnivore about the Dolomedes Orion subspecies, a big spider that lives and hunt in Japan.
The video (with en&fr subtitles) is full of awesome shots and interesting facts about spiders, so if you're interested you should definitely check it out (and the next ones!) :blobcat_noir:
Cellar spider with a bagful of babies. New blog post: https://wanderinweeta.blogspot.com/2023/11/moving-day-for-mother-and-babies.html
It's Friday, time for a new episode of #InsectInsights !
This week, get ready to be in the cuticle of a male nursery web spider 😉
Available on your favorite podcast app in a few minutes
#podcast #spiders #nature #scicomm #science #ecology
@Mikal One of your local huntsmen (family Sparassidae), such as Olios giganteus. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?locale=en&place_id=14&taxon_id=47867
I've just been using #spiders?
Spiders Web on Great Wood Rush
How spectacular is this. This #great #wood #rush #flowerhead has been turned into a massive #spiders #web – if you look closely you will see the spiders web extends down the stalk of the plant. In addition there looks to be some seedheads also caught up in the cobweb.
(CW: images of a tiny spider feeding on a relatively large cricket)
A tiny spider, Boliscus tuberculatus, spotted feeding on a genus Ornebius cricket nymph at Kranji Marshes, Singapore, on 28 Oct 2023. The spider showed how strong it was by hanging on to the dangling cricket while feeding.
On iNaturalist [ https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/189332827 ]
many years ago, I read a great book on spiders that I found in a library. Sadly I've totally forgotten the title and the author. In one section, it described a serious of experiments designed to determine the minimum number of legs an orb weaver needed to build a web. They showed an orb weaver required 2 legs on one side, and 1 leg on the other side, total of 3 legs, to build a web and catch prey with it, although slowly. Amazing.
Happy Halloween! 🎃👻
Spider berry update, Campanumoea lancifolia:
No ripe berries for Halloween. Alas. I saw spotted cucumber beetle on it yesterday and squished it. Also squished a tree cricket. A couple of unripe berries were slightly nibbled and discarded (probably cricket). I tried a green one and it tastes like baby peas. Not bad. Hopefully ripe berries are better.
Belated #Arachtober 29 because I got vertigo yesterday: missing-sector orbweaver (_Zygiella_) male and female. I think these are _Z. x-notata_? The males wait patiently on the periphery of the females' webs, plucking out little guitar solos. I wish I could have gotten a video for you all, but it was a windy night and everything was too blurry/shaky.
#Arachtober 28: the holes in these wooden posts at Cherry Beach were ideal homes for grass spiders (_Agelenopsis_), which can easily be lured out with a feather attached to an electric toothbrush.
It's always a little sad when I put the toothbrush away for the season. Over the next few months, I'll mostly be finding spiders by flipping rocks and fallen bark and turning over pine cones. Anyone else got winter spidering strategies?
There is evidence to suggest that spiders are declining worldwide. But for most species, we don't really know, because data and funding for spider population studies is badly lacking.
Everyone with a phone camera can help. See a spider, get a photo, add it to iNaturalist.
Everyone should start counting #spiders
Our collective arachnid aversion could be causing us to overlook something even scarier: Spiders may be disappearing.
By Betsy Mason 10.25.2023
"In fact, all over the world, all sorts of spiders seem to be disappearing, says conservation biologist Pedro Cardoso of the University of Lisbon. He and a colleague polled a hundred spider experts and enthusiasts globally about the threats facing the animals. 'It’s more or less unanimous that something is happening,' he says.
"The case for why people should care about spiders is robust. First, the vast majority of spiders do not bite or harm people, despite rampant misinformation in the media that would have you believe most spiders are out to get you. In reality, a vanishingly small number of spiders are dangerous to humans. Instead, they prey on insects — including mosquitoes, cockroaches and aphids — that actually do cause harm to people in their homes, gardens and fields. Spiders are excellent natural pest controls, but they are often killed by pesticides aimed at those same insect pests. These #ToxicChemicals also harm people.
"Spiders are important food sources for birds, fish, lizards and small mammals. And there are untapped benefits we humans could enjoy someday — if spiders don’t disappear first — such as potential pharmaceutical and pest control applications derived from compounds in their venom, and medical and engineering applications based on their incredibly strong silk."
Hello you lovelies! To have something touchable to show off in bologna, and not only a digital folio, I made this "counting to 10"- leporello. It has bats, spiders and pumpkins in it. Here's a little sneak preview. Have a spooky autumn weekend <3
About cellar spider eyes and hunting strategies. New blog post: https://wanderinweeta.blogspot.com/2023/10/cats-eye-spider.html
#VanIsle #Spiders #Arachtober2023
#Arachtober 14: A wasp's progress. Over a few weeks in July, I saw a cobweb spider on a fire hydrant parasitized by a wasp larva, then the wasp's pupal cocoon, then at last the empty cocoon.
Some parasitoid* wasps alter the spider's behaviour to make them spin a web more suited to sheltering the pupating larva; not sure if this was the case here.
There are also hyperparasitoids that target parasitoids, so for all I know the wasp itself may have been parasitized and a different species emerged!
* "Parasitoid" means a type of parasite that eventually kills its host rather than simply feeding on it. Your typical parasitoid is a solitary wasp that lays eggs on hosts which become larvae that devour the host, often from within.
#Arachtober 13 (it's still the 13th somewhere!): a fast-moving, red running crab spider (family Philodromidae) eating an equally fast-moving, red whirligig mite (family Anystidae)! From back in July, seen on the Park Dr Reservation Trail, southwest of the Evergreen Brick Works.
Possibly _Philodromus rufus_? I've only identified a _Philodromus_ to species like, once.
For #arachtober I repost this wolf spider found on the wall of the house this summer.
Started cleaning its legs when I took the photo and then it run away. The body was nearly 2cm long.
Edited with #darktable
This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
This Synema globosum is sometimes called the Napoleon spider, because of a supposed resemblance of the markings on the abdomen (not visible here) to a silhouette of Napoleon wearing his iconic hat.
It is here on a…
📅 23 June 2020
📸 Fujifilm X-T3 + Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 LM OIS WR Macro
🎞️ ISO 1600, ƒ/8, 1/150s
Giant House Spider, doing his midnight rounds. In the Arachtober pool, Day 11. https://www.flickr.com/photos/wanderin_weeta/53250712370/in/pool-arachtober/
#VanIsle #Arachtober2023 #Spiders
#Arachtober 10: from back in June, a mesh-web weaver (family Dictynidae) back-combing a line of silk to turn it into a fuzz of nanofibres. Spiders like this have a special sieve-like silk-making organ called a cribellum. This in fact is the ancestral state of most spiders.
Cribellate silk doesn't use glue; rather, it melds with the waxy compounds on some insect exoskeletons. It doesn't stick very well to other surfaces. Later in spider evolution, spiders developed other types of silk that could catch different insects and support more ambitious aerial webs. However, for a minority of spiders, cribellate silk still works just fine.
More details in this 2017 paper: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2017.0363 :OpenAccess:
#Arachtober 8: a hacklemesh weaver (_Amaurobius ferox_) emerges from its lair in a seriously grimy underpass.
This family of spiders is very closely related to the Agelenidae—there are many species that have moved from one to the other and vice versa over the years—but they are (generally?) cribellate, that is, they make a kind of fuzzy silk.
Just finished a really great #scifi #book that I highly recommend. If anyone's looking for an epic #space adventure, with #alien #intelligence and really smart evolutionary world building, check out Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
Full review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5422934184
For today's #arachtober: a brief story. I was finding Colonus hesperus spiders seeming to rest at night while dangling from a short silk thread. Thanks to #scicomm Twitter, I found a very recent study on exactly this behavior in a different jumping spider species. Because the internet is neat, I was able to contact that scientist and add C. hesperus to the list of dangling resting spiders. The original paper is here: https://frontiersinzoology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12983-021-00410-3 #spiders