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I did it! I held a rose hair! (It was on my hand at one point but decided to chill on my legs lol.

For those who think this isn’t a big deal, it is to me. I’m terrified of spiders, being around tarantulas at work makes me super uncomfortable and my boss was/is willing to help me get over my fear. It took a few times but I finally held a rose haired tarantula! They’re so light, and in a weird way kinda cute.

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.

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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.

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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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Wrap-around Spider - Dolophones turrigera.

“The perfect shape for plastering themselves on twigs as they rest through daylight hours. They don’t wrap themselves all the way around, but it certainly provides excellent camouflage against birds and the like. One Wrap-around Spider isn’t content with looking like a mere part of a twig, they have a little turret on their abdomen so they look like a tiny twig all their own“.

Experts once considered cave dwellers to be evolutionary dead ends. Charles Darwin himself wrote of these “wrecks of ancient life,” and “living fossils.” But now we know better. As scientists find new cave species and probe their DNA, we’re learning that this hidden world is as dynamic as the one above ground. Far from being dead zones, caves are evolutionary laboratories.

The cave spider (Trogloraptor marchingtoni), first discovered in the dark zone of a cave in the coastal forests of Oregon, differs from other spiders so much that scientists created a new family to classify it. One feature that sets it apart: unmatched toothed claws at the end of each leg that are likely used for capturing prey.

Meet more amazing creatures in Life at the Limits, open for one more month!

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!

ZOOLOGGER:

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

Legs of Flame on Flickr.

Found this tiny beautiful spider spinning a small web on an aluminium strip of a derelict greenhouse. These are known as Money Spiders in the UK and are supposed to bring good fortune to anybody who finds one. This spider was only a couple of millimetres across, but I love the striking contrast of it’s bright orange legs on it’s black body, such a delicate creature.