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Overview

Huntsman Spiders

The Wolf Spider

The Voracious Water Spider

Orb Web Builders

A Fascinating Sight

Riddle of the St. Andrew's Cross

The Tailed Spider

The Amazing Stick Spider

The Death's Head Spider

Queen of Spinners

The Hairy Imperial Spider

The Beautiful Spiny-Bellied Spider

The Crab Spider

The Jumping Spider

The Flying Spider

Bird-Catching Spiders

A Spider that Barks?

Trap-Door Spiders

The Brown Trap-Door Spider

The Funnel-Web Spider

The Venomous Red-Back Spider

Deadliest of Creatures

       

 

The Amazing Stick Spider

Living among the tangled branches of shrubs, it is not uncommon to find a slender, long-legged spider of remark-ably stick-like appearance. This is the stick spider (Dinopis bicornas). There is a marked difference in form and color between the sexes; the female, consider-ably larger and more robust than her mate, bears . two blunt tubercles, one on each side of her abdomen. In color she is wholly yellowish-brown, much the color of a dried leaf. The slender male is black with a broad white stripe down each side of the body, and his palps (leg-like feelers) terminate in a large, ball-like expansion. When at rest, the legs, as a rule, lie closely' together in pairs, so that at first sight the spider seems to possess only four legs.

By day the spiders are lethargic, only getting out of the way when disturbed, but at dusk they become active, and set about spinning a small rectangle of silken threads. This, when completed, is held extended between the feet of the first two pairs of legs. Thus equipped, the spider awaits the approach of some dusk-wandering insect. As it comes nearer, the spider visibly tenses in - anticipation—then, when the prey is within reach, with a rapid movement the mesh is clapped down upon it, as a butterfly-net is cast over an insect. Should it miss its objective, the spider reassumes its pose and awaits another oppor­tunity. Failures are rare, however, and the spider, after making a meal of her captive, spins a new net, and awaits another victim. The whole performance is so remarkable that it must be witnessed to be appre­ciated fully; and even then, so rapid are the movements, that many de-tails are missed. It is not until the spider has at­tained some size that this method of hunting i s adopted; the spiderling sets a small adhesive snare which resembles the type commonly built by the smaller net-weavers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
Wonder Book of Knowledge