Ravine Trapdoor Spiders

This is the cyclosmia (or ravine trapdoor spider), and its incredible abdomen looks like an ancient coin! This genus of spider lives in burrows, and it uses the hardened disc at the end of its abdomen to clog the entrance when it’s threatened. They live in the Western U.S. and Mexico, and Eastern Asia.

Images: jylppy69 via Biologia com o Prof. Jubilut and Eigenes Werk

(via:Science Alert)

This is a gorgeous Golden Orb-weaver (genus Nephila, probably Nephila plumipes) I found in the Royal Botanical Garden in Sydney. If you look closely you can see the golden-colored silk that gives it its name. This adult female was almost 3 inches long, making it one of the largest wild spiders I’ve found.


First trip out.  This is a baby Phidippus Regius, just after leaving the sac in search of food, for the first time in it’s life.  I took a few of the babies, and gave them some heat and light and let them roam around and accomplish their first few jumps.  This is one experiencing its’ first taste of freedom.  Barely a speck, these shots are in the 5x life size range.


14 new types of spiders have been discovered

Prowling the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California, evolutionary biologist Chris Hamilton would spend much of his time examining holes in the ground. He’d keep his eyes peeled for the telltale signs: a clean circle, lined with a translucent white silk. When he would spot the right burrow, he’d dig out a tarantula. He and his team have found 14 new species, including eight  miniature tarantulas.

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Holy -crap-.  My new lens is perfect!

From top to bottom, L to R:  Zorak, the Ghost Mantis (P. paradoxa), Blackwall the male Regal Jumping Spider (P. regius), Chris the Golden Huntsman (O. giganteus, also proof that even my animals suffer my puns through their names, get it, he’s a Huntsman… derhur), Goldie the Chaco Golden Knee tarantula (G. pulchripes), and Jack, the Dwarf Pumpkin Patch tarantula (H. Sp. Colombia).

Chris and Zorak are -tiny-.  Not inches, only millimeters long.  Goldie and Jack are on the same size screen that Chris is on in the photo, that’s how tiny he is.  I can’t believe how close I can get, it makes me SO HAPPY.  I can’t even make out Chris’ coloration with my naked eye.  Zorak has already shed once, so he’s a bit bigger, but not by much.

Bonus pic of Blackwall before launching himself directly into my face, he completely missed the lens.

These are my pets.  I enjoy and love them dearly.  If you don’t have anything nice to say, please just don’t say it.  I’ve tagged the crap out of this so anyone who’s freaked out should be able to avoid it.

From Australian Geographic Image Of The Week; October 17, 2013:

AG Reader Photo: Ogre-faced Spider
Cheryl Burnham

This Ogre-faced Spider (Deinopis sp.), also known as a net-casting spider, is a terrifying figure, particularly in this close-up photography by AG reader Cheryl Burnham.

Share your own photography and it could be featured on Australian Geographic online!


Male Jumping Spiders Lure Aggressive Females with Peek-a-boo Paddle Game

by Andy Coghlan

Species: Jotus remus
Habitat: Trees and leaf debris on a mountain plateau in the Barrington Tops National Park, New South Wales, Australia

Males of a newly discovered species of jumping spider spend hours waving special paddle-shaped legs at prospective mates, in an effort to copulate without being attacked – or even eaten.

Mating can potentially cost you your life if you are a male spider. To avoid becoming lunch, Jotus remus plays a game first to tire out hungry females.

It begins when a male positions himself on the other side of a leaf to a female, and starts sticking a paddle out from underneath and waving it at her (see gif, above). When the female tries to pounce on what she thinks is prey, the male darts across to the other side, and repeats the paddle action…

(read more: Wired Science)

photograph by Jürgen Otto