Category: spiders

Pics if it’s hard to see~

I found a super pretty and fuzzy spider today! ;v; Pretty big too, almost an inch?

I think it’s a Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)

i always thought "daddy long leg" referred to cellar spiders :0?

Ah, this is why common names are so tricky. In some places, it is common to refer to cellar spiders as “daddy long legs” also, because they superficially resemble opiliones

This is a cellar spider (sometimes called a daddy long legs):

image

And this is an opilione (aka daddy long legs or harvestman):

image

You can see the body segments are super different. The spider has two distinct segments with a “waist” separating them, while the opilione is just a little orb. They move quite differently as well; opiliones have a kind of wobbly gait and cellar spiders move like…well, spiders.

I’ve been told that some people even call crane flies “daddy long legs” because they have long, thin legs I guess? Common names are full of lies and deceit.

glumshoe:

between-the-pages-ofa-book:

glumshoe:

go-go-before-you-wake-me-up:

glumshoe:

a few money-saving tips for millennials

-Instead of buying coffee each morning, make your own at home before you leave for work. Those dark roasts really add up! Buy just one drink per week and make it a special occasion to savor and look forward to.

-Stop costly ‘vampire power’ drains by unplugging appliances when not in use. Use power trips when possible for east turn-offs and avoid plugging things into the wall.

-Employ the ‘30 day rule’. If you want to make a purchase, put it back and wait a month—if the urge to buy it has passed, it probably wasn’t worth it.

-Use grocery lists and stick to them.

-Prepare your own meals whenever possible instead of going out to eat—and host your friends at home!

-Cancel unused gym memberships and automatic subscriptions.

-Learn how to sew and cut your own hair. This saves a buttload if money if you’re not replacing new clothes or going to expensive trips to the salon.

-Use poison-testers efficiently. Paying someone to test your food for you can provide peace of mind and a sense of security, but it’s an expensive service, especially if you have many determined enemies! Buy, store, and prepare your own food in a room only you have access to, vary your diet, eat unpredictably, and you will only need to employ a poison tester for special occasions, like weddings or diplomatic missions.

-Learn to enjoy cold showers! Not only do they build character and increase endurance, but they’re good for the skin—and cut on electricity costs!

-Sell your guns! Bullets are expensive and extremely difficult to make, and subject to legal restrictions. In contrast, a good sword and a whetstone can last generations with proper care and be repaired with comparative ease. If ranged attacks are important to your home defense system, arrows are reusable and easy to make. Watch free YouTube tutorials instead of attending a class.

-Coupons, coupons, coupons!

-Dogs are high-maintenance, expensive, and can be difficult to train. They need high levels of attention and are vulnerable to bribery and treachery—even a dog that’s aggressive towards strangers can usually be thwarted with food or a familiar face. Spiders, on the other hand, are exceptionally low-maintenance, can go days or weeks without feeding, and can act as pest control. Allowing large, recognizable spiders to build webs over windows and door frames inside your home will serve as a strong deterrent to most intruders, and broken webs can act as warning clues that something is amiss.

-Quality over quantity. It’s fair cheaper to buy one pair of high-quality $300 shoes that will last you a decade than to buy thirty pairs of $30 shoes that fall apart after a few months.

-Make your own gifts to give to friends and family. Picking up an artistic craft or hobby may seem superficially worthless, but the social obligation to give expensive presents is a major money-suck. Your loved ones will appreciate the handcrafted, personal quality of your gifts—and customizing them will allow you to create secret compartments in which to hide listening devices, illicit materials, and/or coded messages.

-Only use ATMs affiliated with your own bank to cut withdrawal fees.

-Get a library card and USE it! You can rent books, movies, music, and more from your local library for a fraction of the cost of using other services.

-Grow your own garden. Getting down on your knees in the dirt is great for stress-relief, and being able to grow and manufacture your own poisons eliminates the difficulty and expense of finding a trustworthy supplier. 

are we not going to acknowledge the poison-tester part bc i dont think im a part of the people that worry about that kind of thing

Look, it’s great if you CAN afford a poison-tester for every single meal, but some of us have to make the budget stretch. I know “just eliminate your enemies” sounds like a good plan, but in practice it just begats more enemies. 

(Trade secret: poison-testers will occasionally work for free, provided they’re hungry enough.)

Are we going to ignore that they suggested just letting a spider live there, rent-free? I don’t know about you, but that won’t fly in my household.

It won’t fly in your household because the spider will catch it. There won’t be any flies in your household if you listen to my wisdom. 

You would say no to this face???

Monster

Pantropical jumping spider (male)

Bonus:

What’s this? A sexy lady? *he approaches seductively*

(she wasn’t interested)

August 16, 2019

nanonaturalist:

A lively, freshly molted Zygoballus jumping spider. Most jumping spiders are super tiny. This video was recorded through a microscope.

May 23, 2017

Loved this little babe–they moved into one of my caterpillar containers and caught little gnats and plant bugs from their food. 

Reposted July 21 , 2019

nanonaturalist:

I DISCOVERED HOW FLOWER CRAB SPIDERS BUILD NESTS FOR THEIR BABIES. Flower crab spiders are already super neat because they change color back and forth between white and yellow (to match their current flower) and camouflage to ambush their prey. I saw this one on a leaf but she disappeared underneath before I could get a good photo. Of course I turn the leaf over. SHE WASN’T THERE??? Except, she WAS. She had sewed a leaf shut and built a nest in it. I could see her sitting by her eggs. Oh man. Highlight of the night!

April 7, 2017

An example of how just being out and observing the world can be more valuable than sitting around in classrooms or reading books about things. You don’t need to take classes or have access to information to learn! 

The color-changing abilities of crab spiders may be limited to a specific species (maybe?), the Goldenrod Flower Crab Spider, and nobody has any idea why they do it [link] because it doesn’t help them catch prey, it doesn’t actually match the flower they are on, and it doesn’t prevent them from being predated by birds. They are just fashionable!

Reposted July 15, 2019

entomologyfrassposting:

June beetles be like:

Tonight, I watched a May beetle chase off this wolf spider:

I didn’t manage photos, because as the beetle walked into the arms of this spider, the spider did a combo ice-skate/teleport out of Texas (and possibly the galaxy) in absolute terror.

Spider is a Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabidosa rabida), and very large. Five times the size of the beetle, at least. To be fair, her mouth was full.

July 14, 2019

nanonaturalist:

I was finally able to ID some of my mystery observations on iNat! I always love finding “evidence” like this but having absolutely no idea what they are. I had guessed that the top one (bright lime green) was an insect cocoon, and the bottom one (white cottony fluffy mass attached to a stalk of grass) was a collection of eggs.

The top photo was taken at Southeast Metropolitan Park outside of Austin in late January. iNaturalist Observation [link] is here. Turns out all I had to do was google “texas lime green cocoon” and viola! These are spinybacked orbweaver eggs! Spinybacked orbweavers are one of my favorite Texas spiders–they are so much fun to watch and I find them everywhere. Below are just a few of the ones I have seen recently–each photo is a unique individual.

image

The bottom two photos were taken in my backyard, also in late January. iNaturalist observation [link] is here. This one really had me stumped. I have seen several of these but just couldn’t figure out what they were. Nobody on iNat offered suggestions. I noticed the first ones towards the end of summer/early fall, and I assumed that they were likely eggs or a cocoon from one of the common insects/spider I find in my yard. I looked up what the eggs/cocoons for various species looked like, but nothing was even close. I had pretty much given up. 

Then last night, I was at the bookstore trying to find some African bird books for my November trip to Malawi and had no luck, so I consoled myself by leafing through the Texas Nature books to see if any were worth buying. I found one that was about Texas Bugs, and was an interesting guide of the most common arthropods you find here. Lo and behold, in the braconid wasp section, there was a photo that looked EXACTLY like this. 

In case you are not familiar, braconid wasps are the parasitic wasps that grow on caterpillars. You may be familiar with the Microgastrinae that have individual pupas hanging off caterpillars (photo taken at a bioblitz in east Texas in May 2015, observation posted here [link]):

image

It seems that other species in this family make super fluffy pupae–so fluffy that you can’t see the poor caterpillar underneath them. I had considered dissecting one of these fluffy masses, but decided against it for some reason. Now I really wish I had! If I’d seen a caterpillar in there, I would have known it was braconid wasps!

Another fun post to come across! I posted this in March 2017. I did eventually come across some more of those super fluffy cocoon piles, but the host was always long gone by the time I had found it. Braconids do not exclusively prey on caterpillars! I have seen some that will make their cocoons away from what they had presumably used as a host, so it seems there is no “right” way to be a parasitic wasp! 

I like this post because it shows where my learning curve really started to take off. Spring 2017 was the point in time when I started to CONSUME entomology content like it was malt vinegar and sea salt potato chips (and I have a bit of an addiction…). I also like that it shows that sometimes you learn through intelligence (my google abilities), and sometimes you learn just by pure luck (flipping through a book at a bookstore). And really, you need both!

Reposted July 14, 2019

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

My Sanctuary

Before:

This was the photo I took of my house from the backyard when I decided to buy it. Those windows downstairs? That’s the livingroom/kitchen. My house is a bird blind. I love it. Anyways. I just now attempted to retake this photo, which was impossible because (1) physically getting to the location where I had taken this photo would be an adventure in getting personal with some trees and maybe poison ivy (2) you cannot actually see the house… at all… from that spot. But anyways.

After 3 years:

Feels good to have a yard after 14 years in apartments!

Also! Me with my elderberry bush last June (2018):

Me with my elderberry bush now (July 2019):

My baby is SO TALL!!! 😀 You can see her in the left side of the photo of my jungle. I love her. She was a gift for giving an insect talk at a garden club. They gave me some other great plants, mostly groundcover. I didn’t expect the elderberry would grow so tall, so fast! And the groundcover plants are now deciding they want to teleport their decendants to other, random areas of the garden. Yes, please! Ruellia everywhere!

This is why I’m so stressed out about not being able to find a job in Austin. I can’t move. This yard is my connection to nature. I discovered insects here. I have entomologists commenting on things I find in my yard, saying they are rare or out of range. The trees I have nurtured are my children! If I move, how can I trust they won’t be neglected, or worse, cut down?

Who would want a lawn when they could have paradise?

July 8, 2019

@magnulia lol they sure do!! I keep track on iNaturalist with a project for my yard. So far, 860 different species of bugs!

There are more, I’m a year behind uploading photos because… life happens!

July 8, 2019

Also! Those sad little dinky bushes? They’re crape myrtles. Here they are now:

Hard to see, but a 4th one (purple!) popped up to make the arrangement symmetrical. Perfect. I was told you’re “supposed” to prune them down every winter (essentially back down to nothing), but every winter, I see birds go nuts eating the seeds off of them! Why would I prune them and remove all that bird food?!

They are non-native, but they are big and bushy, and provide great shelter for the birds in my yard. A lady cardinal had beed injured by a hawk, but was able to get away from him in the white one, and the hawk was unable to get her. She lived! Also, some native insects do eat the leaves, plus, the leaves are the favorites for the leaf-cutter bees in my yard:

Those perfect circles were cut from the leaves by leaf-cutter bees who use the material to build their nests! I’ve seen holes in pokeweed and other native plants a couple times, but as soon as spring hits, the crape myrtles start looking like Swiss cheese.

Native plants are best, but if you already have non-natives, they can still play an important role in supporting the habitat you create with native species—you don’t need to worry about removing them in most cases!

July 8, 2019

@snepwig *nervous laughter* I live in an HOA…

July 9, 2019

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

My Sanctuary

Before:

This was the photo I took of my house from the backyard when I decided to buy it. Those windows downstairs? That’s the livingroom/kitchen. My house is a bird blind. I love it. Anyways. I just now attempted to retake this photo, which was impossible because (1) physically getting to the location where I had taken this photo would be an adventure in getting personal with some trees and maybe poison ivy (2) you cannot actually see the house… at all… from that spot. But anyways.

After 3 years:

Feels good to have a yard after 14 years in apartments!

Also! Me with my elderberry bush last June (2018):

Me with my elderberry bush now (July 2019):

My baby is SO TALL!!! 😀 You can see her in the left side of the photo of my jungle. I love her. She was a gift for giving an insect talk at a garden club. They gave me some other great plants, mostly groundcover. I didn’t expect the elderberry would grow so tall, so fast! And the groundcover plants are now deciding they want to teleport their decendants to other, random areas of the garden. Yes, please! Ruellia everywhere!

This is why I’m so stressed out about not being able to find a job in Austin. I can’t move. This yard is my connection to nature. I discovered insects here. I have entomologists commenting on things I find in my yard, saying they are rare or out of range. The trees I have nurtured are my children! If I move, how can I trust they won’t be neglected, or worse, cut down?

Who would want a lawn when they could have paradise?

July 8, 2019

@magnulia lol they sure do!! I keep track on iNaturalist with a project for my yard. So far, 860 different species of bugs!

There are more, I’m a year behind uploading photos because… life happens!

July 8, 2019

Also! Those sad little dinky bushes? They’re crape myrtles. Here they are now:

Hard to see, but a 4th one (purple!) popped up to make the arrangement symmetrical. Perfect. I was told you’re “supposed” to prune them down every winter (essentially back down to nothing), but every winter, I see birds go nuts eating the seeds off of them! Why would I prune them and remove all that bird food?!

They are non-native, but they are big and bushy, and provide great shelter for the birds in my yard. A lady cardinal had beed injured by a hawk, but was able to get away from him in the white one, and the hawk was unable to get her. She lived! Also, some native insects do eat the leaves, plus, the leaves are the favorites for the leaf-cutter bees in my yard:

Those perfect circles were cut from the leaves by leaf-cutter bees who use the material to build their nests! I’ve seen holes in pokeweed and other native plants a couple times, but as soon as spring hits, the crape myrtles start looking like Swiss cheese.

Native plants are best, but if you already have non-natives, they can still play an important role in supporting the habitat you create with native species—you don’t need to worry about removing them in most cases!

July 8, 2019