Spider removes dewdrops, video

This video shows a male Metellina segmentata spider, which has become wet because of dewdrops.

These dewdrops cause much extra weight and may hinder breathing.

So, the spider removes the drops from his legs, letting them slide down reed stems.

Marijke Scheffer from the Netherlands made the video.

New huntsman spider species discoveries in Africa

This 2013 video is called World’s Biggest Spider: Giant Huntsman Spider.

From the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Germany:

Four new species of huntsman spiders have been discovered in southern Africa

September 16, 2015

The arachnologist Dr Peter Jäger of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt has discovered a new genus from the family of huntsman spiders. He was able to describe a total of four new species within this genus, which occurs in South Africa and Namibia. Besides special setae at the tips of their feet, which likely prevent the animals from sinking into the sand, the eight-legged creatures are characterized by their interesting mating behaviour. The study was recently published in the scientific journal “African Invertebrates“.

To discover a living in the South African deserts is a difficult feat; to study the spider in detail is almost impossible. The eight-legged animals are quick, nocturnal, and dwell in inconspicuous tunnels in the sand. “Fortunately, we have our collection that we can fall back on,” says Dr Peter Jäger, arachnologist at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt. In his lab, Jäger was now able to identify a new genus with four associated of huntsman spiders (Sparassidae). “The spiders of one species were collected in the year 2004 by my doctoral student at the time, Dirk Kunz, and I now described them together scientifically as May bruno.” The name was assigned in the context of the bio-sponsorship program (www.biopat.de); a daughter uses it to honour her father. Molecular-genetic studies of Jäger’s colleague Henrik Krehenwinkel confirmed that the animals belong to a .

The tips of the feet of these newly discovered desert dwellers with a leg span of 8 to 10 centimetres are particularly conspicuous. They contain unique tufts of setae with feathered tips. “They likely serve to prevent the animals from sinking into the sand and help them remain on the surface,” speculates the spider researcher from Frankfurt. Jäger is well aware of the huntsman spiders’ ingenuity when it comes to moving across the hot desert sand, at the latest since his discovery of a spider in this family that moves by means of flic-flacs or somersaults.

In addition, Jäger found yet another special trait in these spiders. All four females he inspected showed paired bite marks on their cephalothorax. “It is quite possible that these injuries were sustained during mating,” explains Jäger, and he adds, “We were unable to find these marks on the males of the ‘Love Bite Spider'”. Jäger refuses to speculate about the meaning of such behaviour and hopes that his colleagues will be able to observe the copulation in the field. However, since only 6 out of 45,000 spider species worldwide have males injuring conspecific females during courtship or mating, it is a very interesting finding.

Dutch spiders Top Ten, 2015

This video is called National Geographic Super Spider – Fascinating Spider Documentary.

After the Top 5 list of spider frequency in the Netherlands, now a more complete Top Ten list for 2015:

1. Diadem spider, aka orb web garden spider. 2701 individuals counted

2. Cellar spider. 536

3. Linyphia triangularis. 226

4. Metellina segmentata. 210

5. Domestic house spider. 199

6. Silver-sided sector spider. 191

7. Lace webbed spider. 107

8. Tetragnatha extensa. 96

9. Walnut orb-weaver spider. 94

10. Neriene montana. 87

Dutch spiders Top 5, 2015

This video says about itself:

10 August 2015

Description: This is a video of two orb web garden spiders, Araneus diadematus, mating, showing details of their courtship ritual. The male, the skinnier one in the top left hand corner, approached the female in her web twice. The first attempt failed and he retreated but came back for another try which was successful.

It is quite a long video, so to see the final successful attempt run forward to about 6 minutes. The mating involves a lot of signaling between both female and male by plucking the web strings, swinging the web gently, and when he gets close the male pats the female with his front legs. The female signals back by plucking the web in turn.

It is basically a very complicated dance. When the female is ready to mate she leans out from the web and “presents” herself to the male. Not shown here but after the first round of successful mating the male retreated again but returned to mate again. The video was taken with a DSLR camera hand held so it sometimes drops out of focus a little, but for the most part it is easy to see what is happening.

Today, there were the results of a recent week of counting spiders in the Netherlands.

Almost 5,000 spiders of various species were counted.

Number one in frequency was the diadem spider, aka orb web garden spider.

The rest of the Top 5:

2. Cellar spider

3. Linyphia triangularis

4. Metellina segmentata

5. Domestic house spider

Butterfly, hoverfly and spider

This video from the USA says about itself:

13 December 2011

Pieris rapae, also known as the Cabbage white or Brassica butterfly [or small white], completes its entire life cycle in this minimally-narrated video. Pieris rapae raised along with Wisconsin Fast Plants provide a rich example of interdependence and interrelatedness among organisms who share a habitat.

This morning, on the butterfly-bush, a small white butterfly.

Higher up, on the balcony, a spider had made its web on a plant.

The flowers attracted a hoverfly as well.

It was not a big hoverfly. Nevertheless, the spider and its web were no dangers to it: the spider was so small that one could not imagine it eating something really bigger than fruitflies.

Was this a young spider? A male of a species in which females are bigger? Or just a small species?

Great tit feeds chick, video

In this video, a great tit tries to feed a spider to its chick. But it is not easy :)

Hans Houtenbos from the Netherlands made this video.

25,000 diving tarantula spiders discovered in Australia

This video is called National Geographic Super Spider – Fascinating Spider Documentary.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Discovery of 25,000 diving tarantulas could prove lucrative for tiny Australian community

The huge cluster of newly-discovered spiders could prove attractive to scientific researchers from across the world

Doug Bolton

Thursday 25 June 2015

A tiny settlement in the sparsely-populated Northern Territory of Australia has been the subject of scientific attention, after it was discovered that a nearby flood plain is home to an infestation of 25,000 tarantulas from a newly-discovered species.

However, rather than this unsettling news making sure that no-one will ever visit the town again, a leading Australian arachnologist believes that this could be good news for the remote community of Maningrada, which is over 300 miles from Darwin, the nearest city.

Dr Robert Raven, a senior curator at the Queensland Museum, believes that the venom of the spiders, which is strong enough to induce vomiting in humans, could be used for medical research purposes.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, he said that “pharmaceutical applications could apply across a broad spectrum.”

The spider, which is commonly called the diving tarantula due to its worrying ability to survive underwater by creating air bubbles, was only discovered in 2006, and the full potential of it as a medical resource has not yet been realised.

The uniquely high concentration of spiders in Maningrada means that it would make the business of finding the spiders and extracting their venom much easier.

Dr Raven said that the normal colony size is only around two or three hundred spiders – around 100 times smaller than the size of the newly-discovered cluster.

The sheer size of the Maningrada group could be very attractive to biologists and medical researchers trying to find out more about the under-researched creatures.

Read more: Giant tarantula discovered in Sri Lanka

Asbestos tarantula on the loose in Cardiff

Brazilian puts tarantulas in his mouth to save rainforest

Dr Raven hopes that the attractiveness of the region to researchers could work in favour of the small community, which is mostly made up of Aboriginal people.

He told ABC News that the intellectual property surrounding the spider belongs to the community.

He said: “This is a resource for the community in a number of ways… and this could flow back into the community eventually to help them manage the parks better.”

He added that he hopes young and strong scientists, capable of handling the harsh conditions, isolation and difficult spiders found in Maningrada, will take up the challenge of finding out more about the mysterious diving tarantula.