Well, I’ve reached the point where people send me spider-related news articles, unprompted. So here’s a roundup of the interesting spider-related news and research that’s come my way this month.
Header: This image from Lisa Jackson’s Biidaaban depicts a decaying Toronto City Hall surrounded by forest, on the edge of a flooded Nathan Phillips Square.
Trying a bit of a new thing. I occasionally do linkdumps via Twitter threads, but I felt like doing something more permanent. Title inspired by this ever-relevant @TechnicallyRon tweet:
2007: It's called a smart phone, it can do everything!
2017: Stare into the nightmare rectangle and watch society collapse in real time
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) September 11, 2017
If you’re lucky and you know what to look for, you can watch mini wildlife documentaries unfolding in front of you. Back in late May I was lucky to witness mesh-web weavers courting and mating; I’m writing it up (including photos and video) because I couldn’t easily find anything else online about this intriguing behaviour.
So I went back to the meadow where I found all those wolf spiders in the hopes of finding a few Pardosa in various stages of motherhood. Enjoy!
Most wild animals are either indifferent or fearful towards humans, preferring to run away when they realize a human has noticed them — or attack when they cannot escape. Spiders are no different in this regard. Many of them are too short-sighted, or live on too small a scale, to recognize humans as other animals and not, say, unusually mobile parts of the landscape. If they do, they deduce that we are neither food nor fellow spiders (for spiders, generally antisocial creatures, these overlap considerably), and they try to get out of our way.
All this means that watching spiders is generally a one-sided relationship. Jumping spiders (family Salticidae1) are an exception — spiders that watch back. Continue reading Jumping Spiders I Have Known