Friday, September 10, 2010

Spiders on tree trunks

Few people will notice spiders resting on the tree trunks when they take a walk in the forest.

Tree trunk spiders belong to the Family Hersiliidae. There are about 150 species in this family and many more undiscovered. I found one the afternoon we arrived at Sukau Bed & Breakfast Lodge at one of the trees behind the lodging house.

Photo above : The pair of spinnerets of this female Tree Trunk Spider is 10mm long. Tree Trunk Spiders have two prominent spinnerets that are almost as long as their abdomens. They are also known as "two-tailed spiders.".
Photo above : This female Tree Spider is 19mm in body length from it's chelicerae to the tip of it's spinnerets.  When her legs stretched out, it's longest legs can reach 45mm.

They range in size from about 10 mm (0.4 inch) to 18 mm (0.7 inch)long including the "Tails"

Photo above :  Tree spiders are beautiful with multicolor pattern that helps them in camouflaging against the tree trunks they live on.

Being very well camouflaged for life on the varicolored trunks of trees, they have an interesting way of capturing prey. Rather than making a web that captures prey directly, they lay a light coating of threads over an area of tree bark and wait hidden in plain sight for an insect to stray onto that patch. Once that occurs, they direct their spinnerets toward their prey and circle it all the while casting silk on it. When the hapless insect has been thoroughly immobilized they can bite it through its new shroud.

Photo above : How many eyes does a Tree Spider has ?  Tree spiders have 8 eyes. 6 well developed and 2 smaller eyes.

They can watch your every move, but you cannot see the spider with only your 2 eyes.

More about Tree Trunk Spiders :

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