Today’s photos come from reader Tony Eales in Queensland, and they’re lovely pictures of spiders. Tony’s captions and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.
Here’s a grab bag of spiders I’ve photographed recently.
Firstly, two Arkys, my favourite spider genus.
Arkys speechleyi. These are relatively common in the right habitat but I haven’t seen this colour form before. The reddish-pink cephalothorax and legs are new to me. I like how it looks like it’s offering me some of its wasp(?) meal.
The other Arkys is A. cornutus, a species I haven’t seen in a few years. They are wonderfully colourful spiders in the 5-6mm range.
I recently found my first Carepalxis sp., a genus I’ve been hoping to encounter for a while. I find their bulbous faces quite mournful. They are rarely encountered spiders, hiding in the day and making a small orb web at night. The genus is present not just in Australia but also South and lower North America.
I also found a nice all-green member of the Araneus circulissparsus species complex. These are some of the prettiest small orb-weavers around. They often have yellow orange and deep red patches that look rather like a sherbet lolly we have called a fruit tingle.The all-green one:
A more colourful one.
One I see commonly at night in the rainforests is the colourful Copa kabana in the family Corinnidae. The spider was described by Robert Raven in 2015. The genus name Copa already existed and I just think Robert Raven couldn’t resist the joke.
Another rather recently described spider from the family Lamponidae. This is a Gondwanan family with most species endemic to Australia but also found in New Guinea and New Caledonia. Two species have been accidentally introduced into New Zealand from Australia. Most members of this family are specialist spider-hunting spiders. I found this one, Centsymplia glorious, hunting through the moss on a tree trunk in the rainforest. This montotypic genus and species were described in 2000 from a specimen collected at Mt Glorious which it is named for and where I found this one.
I watched some interesting behaviour from this pair of net-casting spiders, Menneus sp. The female, on the left, was trying to hunt but constantly had to put down her net to chase off the amorous male, right. She’d pick the net up again, stretch it out, only to have the male come up and disturb her again.
Lastly, a cute little jumping spider that I encounter in the rainforest fairly regularly. Probably an undescribed member of the genus Tara. And when I say “small”, they are small!