Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Lucky escape! The Grass Spider-

This is the Grass Spider (Tibellus) in this case probably Tibellus oblongus. It was by one of
my lights a while ago. These hunting spiders seek opportunity, but usually enjoy there excellent
camouflage in weeds and not on walls. This one is missing a whopping three legs.
Missing a leg or two is not uncommon for spiders, but this well-fed one seems to have gotten very lucky to make it through this. Most likely it lost it's legs in a fight with another spider. I've never seen a spider so well fed and otherwise healthy with this many legs missing on one side. Spiders can somewhat voluntarily release their limbs when in distress to escape without bleeding to death. And usually these limbs begin to grow back in future molts. This one is a full grown female. You can see how large it is by my millimeter scale in that bottom right picture. I've always thought these spiders were really cool. This one was very helpful, and stayed in this spot while I put my ruler up to it and did some other close up stuff. They can ok for
spiders as they hunt and this one definitely knew I was there. But these spiders
have a lot of confidence as in there natural environment they blend in almost constantly
by spreading out on green foliage like grasses and weeds.

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