Webnesday (56): Crabby Calisthenics

I came across a new spider this past week. We were cleaning weeds out of the garden and tossing the plucked ones into a wheelbarrow. After I’d emptied them into the green bin, I noticed a small, tan spider among the sow bugs (wood lice), earwigs, and other arthropods left behind, and managed to move it to a new hunting ground by way of a shamrock flower. It was of a species that I haven’t noticed before; its common name is square-ended crab spider, and its taxonomic name Sidymella angularis. Squiddy, my daughter and fellow arachnophile, tells me that they are particularly gymnastic in that, when one finds itself turned onto its back, it is easily (and famously) able to execute a forward somersault, using its extra-long front legs as the force and its posterior abdominal points as the fulcrum. While I was transporting it to its new frontier, I was able to see this remarkable behavior a couple of times. (As usual, please click on a photo for a more detailed image.)

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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11 Responses to Webnesday (56): Crabby Calisthenics

  1. Wow! That is something special, Gary! Nice one you saved it, and photographed it to share your find with us. Zooming in shows so much beautiful detail, and the ‘square end’ is so unusal and fascinating. Very nice find, well done! :)

    • krikitarts says:

      I’d seen photos of this one in our NZ spider guides and had been hoping for a personal introduction for some time. I would have liked to get a face shot but it was too eager to be on its way. Now if only I can find a lynx some day!

  2. You were rewarded for your kindness with some nice shots, even if there is no up close and personal portrait. It resembles our Nursery Web spider except for the boxy butt.

  3. So unusual! You really do know your bugs.

    • krikitarts says:

      Well, I’m learning all the time, but it does help to have a few reference books and a very knowledgeable daughter handy. Some of my blogging buddies know a great deal more about a wide variety of buggy folk than I do. But in the meantime, it’s sure a lot of fun trying to put the right name with a new one. Thanks, Sylvia!

  4. shoreacres says:

    That’s a nicely designed spider, and it obviously puts that unusual structure to good use. It occurred to me that in the case of this spider, “be there or be square” isn’t a necessary choice. It can be ‘there’ and be ‘square’ all at the same time.

  5. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful pictures, and what an interesting creature! :)

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