No peeking!

extremely shy spider that looks like Bane
Here we have more archive images while the winter slump goes on. I haven’t tried to find out what kind of spider this is, because with the lack of any distinctive markings or body shape, the next best guide is the eye pattern – obviously there’s some difficulty here. This little squirt’s defensive posture seems like it should be quite effective, at least at first glance, and note how the leg segments and joints all line up so well.

But then I got to thinking, because the abdomen is left pretty exposed, as it is with the newborn wolf spiders when riding atop mom’s back, so is this less vulnerable than the cephalothorax (head/forebody)? If the chitin on the abdomen is so effective, why would this not extend across the entire body? I would think the joints present a certain degree of vulnerability, but here the spider presents half of them right out in front. So perhaps the idea isn’t necessarily protection against a direct attack, but simply hiding the standard spider profile from those predators that recognize it to mean, “food.” I could also have caught it too soon after waking up and it was embarrassed about its appearance.

And, looking at the hairs on the legs, I wondered if the view out between them was much better than the view in, like those girls who somehow see through their bangs. A close examination of another frame in the sequence, where I had rolled the spider onto its side a little more, answered that question.

spider anterior median eye visible between legs
See it? There’s just one eye visible between the first two legs on the left side, the spider probably none too thrilled with the camera looming this close. But just in case, here’s another version where I highlighted the eye.

peeking spider eye highlighted
Also visible are the tiny pairs of claws on the end of each foot, the ones that enable spiders to run up walls and across ceilings, but don’t work so well on smooth plastic buckets.

It’s funny. I’ve been around spiders enough to know that they’re often incredibly shy and timid, or at least a functioning analog of such since I doubt arthropods really have emotions that we would recognize, and I see these images as illustrating it very well. But I strongly suspect others might see them entirely differently, even as menacing. I would solicit opinions, but (in case it’s escaped attention) comments are few and far between, and the people who might give the most contradictory answers are the ones who don’t read these posts, for, uh, exactly that reason I guess. So yeah, probably a waste of time.

Unlike the rest of the post, of course…

Comments are closed.