Segments (3): Spider Monday
Wow, Black Fly Day was a terrific event last week. As you all know... the Monday following that entomological event, is an Arachnological one - Spider Monday (no folks, no cyber monday for me). It's helpful that Spider Monday is kind of 'Cyber' anyway... the world wide web. So, today's edition of Segments will be devoted to spider stories.
- Lovely Garden Spiders... a nice post over at Live Science highlights Argiope aurantia. Perhaps one of the more interesting stories about their biology is that males, after copulation with a female, exhibits 'spontaneous death'. That is quite an amazing life history strategy.
- On the topic of spider sex, Catherine wrote an amazing post about the 'bridal veil' in spiders. It's a very worthwhile post for those who are fascinated by arachnids - the variety of copulation strategies in spiders is so impressive.
- In my post last week about unusual diets of spiders, I failed to point out one of the most amazing jumping spiders, Bagheera kiplingi. This species is a mostly vegetarian spider - a highly unusual diet for an arachnid order known mostly at carnivores.
- Speaking of jumping spiders, look at this most adorable one, courtesy of Sean McCann:
- So you must have wondered, right? Do spiders like human urine? Don't worry - there was an experiment done on that subject (h/t to Bug Girl for this one). Spoiler: they don't.
- More than polar bears: Churchill Manitoba also has high spider diversity. A new paper uses barcodes to reveal high diversity, new records for Canada, and probably new species. Almost 200 species were documented from that region.
- Burma's undiscovered insects and spiders: There's a particularly unusual shot of a spider with its babies (spiderlings) being carried on the mother's carapace (image #9). I find this unusual: wolf spiders females (Lycosidae) typically carry spiderlings on their abdomen, but I don't think I've ever seen a shot of spiderlings all huddled up on a carapace. Maybe there were so many that some 'spilled over' onto the carapace.
- Speaking of wolf spiders... "how dangerous are they?". Warning: this is a piece that's full of errors and promotes ways to 'control' these animals. Seriously, folks: don't believe what you read. Wolf spiders are a FAMILY not a species, they are harmless, and to get rid of them (e.g., in your house), just use a paper towel or something. Sheesh.
- To finish, a lovely photo of Misumena vatia, from Adrian Thysse. Now, find all those spiders on the web and enjoy your "Spider Monday"