Webnesday (63)

Last Saturday I hosted a garden party for the whole family. We brought the tablecloth and napkins back to wash them and set them on the dining room table. On Sunday morning I heard a startled yelp from CD and when I came to investigate, she said that she had seen an enormous spider retreat into a little cave in the folds of the napkins. When I looked more closely, I was excited to find this magnificent male sheetweb (or bush) spider, Cambridgea foliata, which had apparently taken refuge there and stayed put overnight. We know it was a male because of the large chelicerae (which hold the fangs), and they are known to be out and about at this time of year looking for females. On his way to a garden release, I gave him a few minutes to explore a small bouquet of flowers that I’d bought at a grocery store the day before; I’m sorry, but I didn’t note the name of the flowers. The one that he’s perched on in the photo, though, is exactly 6 cm (almost 2.4 inches) across. These are one of our largest spiders, and their webs can be more than a meter (39.36 inches) in diameter. Feel free to click on a photo if you’re adventurous enough to see an enlargement.

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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22 Responses to Webnesday (63)

  1. That’s an excellent pose in the first picture, looming over and partially encircling the flower globe. At 6 cm, the spider is understandably among your largest.

    • krikitarts says:

      I was hoping he’d strike a pose like that and hold it, and he was delightfully cooperative. And you can well imagine that, if he had his legs stretched out, their span would be in the range of 10-15 cm.

  2. Pretty sure this fellow is not on his way to the party Ricky was singing about but probably it would be more to his and our liking. Nice look at those beady little eyes that probably had CD exclaiming.

    • krikitarts says:

      It wasn’t the eyes; it was the legs. As they are not usually hunting spiders, but rather web weavers, their eyes don’t need to be so large and acute. But they are nocturnal, so their eyes are relatively larger than many daylight fanciers. And we’ve seen many of their webs on our bush walks, and they are very impressive.

  3. Ms. Liz says:

    These are fantastic Gary and I certainly did take a look at the most detailed enlargement! Also love the flowers, fantastic combo .. actually I shared a link on twitter at https://twitter.com/ExploringColour/status/1316152682847989760

    • krikitarts says:

      Thank you for the tweet and the link, Liz. I really should return to that little grocery store to see if anyone can tell me what the flowers were–I don’t remember seeing them before. And they are still looking fresh and healthy. I hope my star found the sweetheart he was looking for.

  4. shoreacres says:

    That’s one impressive spider. His pose in the first photo reminds me of an even larger spider I once saw; I’ll have to dig out its photo and post it. The flowers are lovely, too. Because the spider’s so large, he doesn’t get at all ‘lost’ in the complexity of the bloom.

    • krikitarts says:

      Where did you see your larger one? It would take a truly-impressive flower for this guy to seem to get lost in it. On a rather elaborate tangent, this brings to mind photo in an article in (if memory serves) Outdoor Photographer magazine by Frans Lanting (although I can’t confirm this with a reasonably-determined Google search) of a very rare (and foul-smelling) flower in Borneo or New Guinea that he tracked down with the help of indigenous tribesmen, that only blooms for a few hours at night and his shoot involved a serious hike through the jungle and an elaborate setup of accessory flash units. It bloomed to a diameter of well more than a meter, as I recall. I’ve never forgotten this, and I wish I could find a link to the article. Whatever, thanks for your support.

      • shoreacres says:

        Frans Lanting sounds like my eye doctor, who’s been to places like Borneo as a kind of photographer’s assistant to a guy who seeks out rare carnivorous plants. There’s a story behind that, too — I need to get busy and post some of the stuff that’s languishing in my draft files! As for the big spider: I dare not tell you where I saw it, or you’d track down its photo in a minute, and that would be the end of the surprise. I’ll not dally with that post, so you don’t have to wait unduly.

  5. Sometimes un-invited guest cause quite a stir…… It extended your celebrations into a second day :-)

  6. Adrian Lewis says:

    Wonderful pictures, Gary – and for sheer threat and malevolence, the first one does it for me, especially when enlarged. We have large House Spiders about the house now, they always appear at this time of year. One of my more memorable wildlife experiences is seeing one on the floor, getting down close to look at it, and HEARING its footsteps as it ran off across a sheet of A4 paper that was lying on the floor – pure magic! :)

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, Adrian, this brings back a memory of another large spider that I saw in Hong Kong during a singing trip with my university choir in the summer of 1964. It had captured a large cockroach and yet was able to run at amazing speed while holding it. Unforgettable.

  7. I really like the contrast between the spider and the bouquet, Gary. What a magnificent spider, and photos, too!

  8. Meanderer says:

    Yep – I would have let out a startled yelp also!! What long legs :-)

  9. Not something you’d expect to see on the linen 😏. Fine spider and photos of it!

    • krikitarts says:

      Right, it would be rather expected to find one in the wood shed (which I did a few months ago), but on the dining room table, snuggling back into the napkins–I can easily understand her startled reaction.

  10. settleandchase says:

    I’m not scared of spiders really but have to say, this one has a bit of a spooky air about him!

    • krikitarts says:

      These males do have a fierce appearance and they are very fast, so it’s not at all surprising that they give someone pause, especially when they suddenly appear in unexpected places.

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