Last week, I was delighted to see a post from a blog pal who had gone silent for a while. I had missed her posts: usually of teeny weeny creatures – magnificent shots. I had put it down to the fact that she had moved towns and had been necessarily distracted with settling.
Then I read her post and of the difficulties that had befallen her family, and the burden she is carrying. I had promised her, a long time ago, when we’d had a chat (on her blog or mine, I don’t remember) about one of her spiders, that I’d share my discovery that rain spiders have a “headlamp”.
They come into our house, often, especially during summer, and lurk; a bit like this chap, behind the bedroom curtains.
I grew up with rain spiders (Palystes superciliosus) and soon learned that although they can look fierce, and make themselves look even more vicious, they are actually quite harmless. What worries me most, is that they seem to like the bedroom and bathroom, and I’d rather not have one at eye level, waving at me from my pillow, or dropping onto my head when I go to the bathroom in the dead of night. They are not small.
When he’s not scuttling across the ceiling, he’s flurrying close to the floor, next to the laundry box, and far too close to my feet for comfort.
When I was checking the facts about “my” spider, I discovered that the rain spider is also known as the huntsman, preying on lizards and geckos. More to the point, I learned that it’s the males that will generally make their way into houses – in search of females. (I don’t get the logic but then, why would I?). On examining my photographs more closely, it’s evident from the shape of the spider’s abdomen, that “mine” are males.
The female lays her eggs in purpose-built nests which are amazing works of art
– and equally amazing engineering feats.
So, Sofia, at last, here is my spider with his headlamp. I hope that Palystes Superciliosus also visits you and shares her light, and the delicate strength of her silk with you.
When you are ready, I am certain I am not alone in saying, that we look forward to your return to blogging, and more of your fabulous photographs and interesting facts about the fauna and flora in your corner of the world. For readers interested in South African fauna, please do visit Sonel’s World: not only are her photographs breathtaking, but she provides detailed information about the creatures she’s photographed.
Where not specified, photographs taken with a Samsung bridge (35mm, 16.4 mega pixel) camera.
© Fiona’s Favourites