In today’s edition of Bugging about Friday, I present to you a puzzle: Where is the spider in the photograph?
Given up? It’s actually just on the thickest “offshoot” branch going to the left of the photograph above, just where the two parts connect to one another. These orb weavers are very clever and have got an interesting adaptation: A vertical stub on their abdomen. While sitting on a twig or branch like this, they look like just a gnarled bit of the plant instead of a lurking spider. Here they sit, contentedly safe from predators until night falls where they unfurl and then proceed to make their webs (which is how I noticed they were around to look for them).
Of course, not all of these spiders seem to have got the memo they are *supposed* to be pretending to be a part of the branch. This photo does show the little stub on the back of the spider pretty well though! If you’re wondering, these spiders are not very big at all and would get to about an Australian 10c piece, with possibly the leg coverage of a 20c piece if they were suitably agitated. Like most of the spiders I’ve showcased on this blog, these guys are entirely non-threatening and won’t harm people.