Friday, 26 April 2013

Black Lace Weaver

If I had a spider top list, Amaurobius ferox, would be definitely in the top ten. So, meeting it for the first time, a male crossing my path on my way to work following its ghostly shadow cast by the morning sun, made my day. This is a large, powerful looking spider, much darker than its more common relative Amaurobius similis, which I often encounter inside the house. The large, complex structures, looking a bit like boxing gloves, are the palps, used by males to inseminate females. Female spiders have thin, simple, palps that look like small legs. Note the rounded structure visible on its left palp on the top photo, this is the palpal organ, which is characteristically white in this species.
  I took some photos and directed the spider to the wooded area at the side of the path, before it was squished (inadvertently or not), by students walking to their lectures. These spiders are typically nocturnal in their activities, but males are now wandering in search of mature females



The Black Lace Spider, according to W.S. Bristowe: 
"has an almost black abdomen bearing what vaguely reminds me of a skull and crossbones marking. This gives her a sinister appearance and she certainly is a formidable monster in its own territory. Indeed, the webs [of this] are singularly adhesive when fresh and the spider venom takes effect on an insect quite quickly"

1 comment:

Steve said...

I think this ones are poisoners, checkout my latest post at
http://togetherfornature.blogspot.com/2013/04/is-there-planet-with-life.html
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