Late yesterday (Webnesday) CD found this little spider in our kitchen and called it to my attention. I carefully eased it into a small container with a flower to keep it for the night. Today I released it onto a different flower (a type of dandelion) from our garden before releasing it. My research indicates that it’s a trapezoid crab spider (Sidymella trapezia); I think it was a female but I’m not sure (the females reach a length of 6 mm and the males 4 mm). I measured the diameter of the flower at 4 cm, so I’m pretty confident of my guess. They are also found in Australia and South America. (Click on a photo for a larger view.)
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What a cool-looking spider, Gary. I love the angular shape of its body, which is pretty distinctive for a spider. It is interesting that you found it in your kitchen. Wow!
Thanks, Mike. There’s another closely-related one, sp. angularis, which is commonly called a square-ended crab spider. I’ve seen them too.
Sounds pretty cool, Gary. The only geometric-shaped spider I can recall seeing is the Arrowhead Orb Weaver spider like this one (https://michaelqpowell.com/2018/08/28/arrowhead-orb-weaver-spider/).
I’ve seen an arrow crab, but not yet an arrowhead spider. Very cool.
Cool little cutie. So much diversity. Btw, the link for the second image takes us to the first instead.
Thanks for the heads up regarding the link, Steve, it’s fixed now. She was so small that the details were just barely visible to the naked eye.
Ah, British (and by extension New Zealand) English versus American English. During my math teaching years I learned that trapezoid, which for us is ‘a quadrilateral with exactly one pair of sides parallel,’ in British English means ‘a quadrilateral with no parallel sides.’ That’s what I see in this spider’s body. That body also fits the technical definition of a dart: ‘a concave quadrilateral with two pairs of adjacent, equal sides.’ I suspect your spider knows none of that.
I did not know that the American and the British trapezoid are different–fascinating. And I looked up the dart (looks more like an arrowhead) and found it to be the counterpart to a kite. What fun.
Yes, the difference between a kite and a dart is that the former is convex, the latter concave. A kite can be transformed into the other by picking the vertex between the shorter pair of equal sides and moving it along the line of symmetry toward the opposite vertex. At the moment of transition from a kite to a dart the figure is an isosceles triangle.
The first thing I noticed was the shape, so it pleased me that someone else in the long-ago had decided to memorialize the shape in the spider’s name. It’s position in the first photo does suggest some similarity to our crab spiders, and their way of lurking about to snag prey.
I’ve looked and can’t find your exact location in NZ. Obviously, my curiosity was stirred by the report of the recent earthquake. I hope all is well.
Looks like you’re on the North Island, given your visits to Rotorua, etc.
Yes, all’s well, thanks. The warnings for the Auckland area were for small craft on and near the shore and folks on and immediately near the east Auckland beaches. We’re on the North Shore, on safely-high ground.
That’s good. I’m happy to hear it.
At first glance, apart from the unusual body shape, when you see one moving, you’d think it’s a crab spider from the general impression of how it holds itself.
Your kindness was repaid! :-)