Archive

Arachnids (Spiders)

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Black-and-Yellow Argiope Spider (Argiope aurantia) [juvenile]

Also called writing spiders, banana spiders

The stabilimentum of adults is in a zig zag pattern. Juveniles stay within a circular “bullseye” stabilimentum and seem almost invisible until they acquire their coloring as they age.

These spiders are pest control machines. I’ve seen them eating grasshoppers on numerous occasions, some much larger than themselves. They also are my favorites because they capture May Beetles before they can fly into the house at night when the door opens.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-24_spider_blackandyellow_argiope.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/along-came-a-spider/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Crab Spider (Mecaphesa sp.)

These spiders ambush prey as opposed to using a web to capture. Sometimes referred to as flower spiders. Wide variety of colors which often will match the color of the flower they are hiding on.

May ambush some bees, but overall considered beneficial as they are biocontrol for some pest species and food for those up the food chain.

Learn: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/spiders/crab/crab.htm

several in the crab spider family are very similar. You can distinguish them by the eye configurations.
Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/38099

Shown on Florida Native Plant: PAINTEDLEAF; FIRE-ON-THE-MOUNTAIN (Poinsettia cyathophora)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Tropical Orb Weaver Spider (Eriophora ravilla) juvenile male

This youngster was hiding in some webbing it used to create a shelter in the leaves. The bright green coloring is an attribute of juveniles.

Learn: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/spiders/tropical_orb_weaver.htm

Learn more: https://bugguide.net/node/view/535156

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Arabesque Orbweaver Spider (Neoscona arabesca) male

One of the Spotted Orbweavers.

Larval host: Ichneumon Wasp (Acrotaphus wiltii) source: http://bugguide.net/node/view/44031

Diet: insects

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/1991

Learn more: https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/4753653#page/495/mode/1up

Shown on Florida Native Plant: PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

My take:
Dont be Spooked by Spiders
http://web.archive.org/web/20150330133737/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/dont-be-spooked-by-spiders.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) with Sharpshooter prey

appears to have snagged one of the Sharpshooters which feed on the plants.  Love when nature keeps things in balance.

These spiders do not construct a web capturing prey by grabbing it when it gets close. It will capture pest insects but also will be found with pollinators in its clutches which may upset some, but Ive seen it with stink bugs and leaffooted bugs and similar so it is quite beneficial in my book.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-48_green_lynx_spider.htm

Learn more: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/green_lynx_spider.htm

and more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2032

Shown on Florida Native Plant: PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/and-in-this-corneractive-arachnids/

My take 2: Lynx Spiders: Its a boy and a girl and a boy etc.
http://osceolaflgardenblahblahblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/lynx-spiders-its-boy-and-girl-and-boy.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) with prey

This lucky gal captured a syrphid fly (Toxomerus sp.).

These spiders do not construct a web capturing prey by grabbing it when it gets close. It will capture pest insects but also will be found with pollinators in its clutches which may upset some, but Ive seen it with stink bugs and leaffooted bugs and similar so it is quite beneficial in my book.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-48_green_lynx_spider.htm

Learn more: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/green_lynx_spider.htm

and more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2032

Shown on Florida Native Plant: : Spanish Needles (Bidens alba)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/and-in-this-corneractive-arachnids/

My take 2: Lynx Spiders: Its a boy and a girl and a boy etc.
http://osceolaflgardenblahblahblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/lynx-spiders-its-boy-and-girl-and-boy.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red House Spider (Nesticodes rufipes) with egg sac

 

New to my buggy life list.

Usually found in dark areas. This one was inside a cardboard box left outside to be broken down for recycling.

Infraorder Araneomorphae – True Spiders
No Taxon Entelegynae
Family Theridiidae – Cobweb Spiders

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/77745

Feeds on ants.

“We think these observations indicate that the immature forms of N. rufipes are the only spiders in this rearing room that are capable of successfully invading and attacking ant colonies on a regular basis.
…We do not think such invasions would take place in the field – because the conditions imposed on the ant colonies are very artificial – but we do feel it is possible that the immatures of this spider are well-adapted to capturing and escaping ants. ” source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/216804223_Immatures_of_Nesticodes_rufipes_Araneae_Theridiidae_Causing_Considerable_Damage_to_Ant_Colonies_in_the_Laboratory

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) with egg sac

These spiders do not construct a web, capturing prey by grabbing it when it gets close. It will capture pest insects but also will be found with pollinators in its clutches which may upset some, but Ive seen it with stink bugs and leaffooted bugs and similar so it is quite beneficial in my book.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-48_green_lynx_spider.htm

Learn more: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/green_lynx_spider.htm

and more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2032

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  WATER COWBANE (Tiedemannia filiformis)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/and-in-this-corneractive-arachnids/

My take 2: Lynx Spiders: Its a boy and a girl and a boy etc.
http://osceolaflgardenblahblahblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/lynx-spiders-its-boy-and-girl-and-boy.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Jumping spider (Hentzia sp.) female

Female miniscule.

Learn: http://salticidae.org/salticid/diagnost/hentzia/hentzia.htm

drawings: http://www.jumping-spiders.com/php/tax_drawings.php?id=2005

distribution of genus: http://salticidae.org/salticid/catalog/hentzia.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

Male:  https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/jumping-spider-hentzia-palmarum-with-prey/

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/itzy-and-bitzynew-spiders-for-me/

Jumping spider (Hentzia sp.) female

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Arabesque Orbweaver Spider (Neoscona arabesca)

One of the Spotted Orbweavers.

Larval host: Ichneumon Wasp (Acrotaphus wiltii) source: http://bugguide.net/node/view/44031

Diet: insects

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/1991

Learn more: https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/4753653#page/495/mode/1up

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

My take:
Dont be Spooked by Spiders
http://web.archive.org/web/20150330133737/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/dont-be-spooked-by-spiders.html

This Larra Wasp was the chosen prey for the above Arabesque Orbweaver Spider (Neoscona arabesca) and was hanging from a single string of silk across the Bidens.

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Jumping spider (Hentzia palmarum) with prey

Male. miniscule.  I can’t quite make out what he has in his clutches.

Learn: http://salticidae.org/salticid/diagnost/hentzia/palmarum.htm

drawings: http://www.jumping-spiders.com/php/tax_drawings.php?id=2005

distribution of genus: http://salticidae.org/salticid/catalog/hentzia.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

Female: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/jumping-spider-hentzia-palmarum/

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/itzy-and-bitzynew-spiders-for-me/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Regal Jumper Spider (Phidippus regius)

Regal Jumper Spider (Phidippus regius) female

I think they are the cutest spider in the world. This is a female.

Males are black and white with blue eyes. Very beneficial, I have even seen them capture and eat invasive cuban treefrogs.
https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/regal-jumping-spider-phidippus-regius/

predatory

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/regal_jumping_spider.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: GOLDENROD (Solidago sp. likely fistulosa)

another photo: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/regaljumpingspiderfemalegoldenrodmay2019full.jpg

Photos from 2013: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/regal-jumper-spider-phidippus-regius/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Nursery Web Spiderling (Family Pisauridae)

I tried to identify this guy (gal?) but wasn’t coming up with a match.  So I checked the unidentified juveniles section of bugguide.  Found one who could probably be this one’s long lost twin.

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/27515/bgpage

Order Araneae – Spiders
Infraorder Araneomorphae – True Spiders
No Taxon Entelegynae
Family Pisauridae – Nursery Web Spiders

Shown on Florida Native Plant: OAKLEAF FLEABANE (Erigeron quercifolius)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/population-explosion-spider-style/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans)

These spiders do not construct a web capturing prey by grabbing it when it gets close. It will capture pest insects but also will be found with pollinators in its clutches which may upset some, but Ive seen it with stink bugs and leaffooted bugs and similar so it is quite beneficial in my book.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-48_green_lynx_spider.htm

Learn more: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/green_lynx_spider.htm

and more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2032

Shown on Florida Native Plant: TICKSEED (Coreopsis sp.)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/and-in-this-corneractive-arachnids/

My take 2: Lynx Spiders: Its a boy and a girl and a boy etc.
http://osceolaflgardenblahblahblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/lynx-spiders-its-boy-and-girl-and-boy.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Crab Spider (Thomisidae family)

This tiny speck of a spider is perplexing to get a positive identification.

I first figured it was just one of the Mecaphesa spp. but the coloring seemed different.

So, I submitted to Bugguide hoping it *may* be Synema viridans but without having the spiders “in hand”, even experts can’t decide.  Other possibilities include Diaea sp.,

https://bugguide.net/node/view/1639205

Learn to identify some crab spiders: http://bugguide.net/node/view/38099

Shown on Florida Native Plant: : TICKSEED (Coreopsis sp.)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Peppered Jumper Spider (probably Pelegrina galathea)

It took off before I got any better photos, so identification is “pretty sure” but not 100%.

Learn:  http://www.rkwalton.com/salticids/Pelegrina_galathea.php (includes a great video)

Diagnostic drawings: http://www.salticidae.org/salticid/diagnost/pelegrin/galathea.htm

Teeny tiny. From markings I’d say it is a female.

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  TICKSEED (Coreopsis sp.)

Photo of male: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/peppered-jumper-spider-pelegrina-galathea/

size ref. for Peppered Jumping Spider

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Orchard Orbweaver Spider (Leucauge argyrobapta)

One of the Long-jawed Orb Weavers (Tetragnathidae).

Diet: small insects

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/1587425

Species UPDATE 2018:  “L. argyrobapta is resurrected regaining the status of type species for the genus.” (source:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790317306292?via%3Dihub) [

Taxonomic split from L. venusta: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/40418

see also: https://wsc.nmbe.ch/species/51479/Leucauge_argyrobapta

What does Charles Darwin have to do with this spider?  https://www2.gwu.edu/~magazine/archive/2011_research_fall/feature_pdf/gwr_fall12_feat2.pdf

Made the web in lower branches of Florida Native Plant: LIVE OAK (Quercus virginiana)

mabelorchardSpiderNov2018Bottom

Orchard Orbweaver Spider (Leucauge argyrobapta) bottom

Orchard Orbweaver Spider (Leucauge argyrobapta)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans)

Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans)

These spiders do not construct a web capturing prey by grabbing it when it gets close. It will capture pest insects but also will be found with pollinators in its clutches which may upset some, but Ive seen it with stink bugs and leaffooted bugs and similar so it is quite beneficial in my book.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-48_green_lynx_spider.htm

Learn more: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/green_lynx_spider.htm

and more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2032

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/and-in-this-corneractive-arachnids/

My take 2: Lynx Spiders: Its a boy and a girl and a boy etc.
http://osceolaflgardenblahblahblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/lynx-spiders-its-boy-and-girl-and-boy.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Spinybacked Orbweaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis) with prey

This one was smaller than the diameter of a pencil eraser so I suspect male which are substantially smaller than the females.

Learn: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/G_cancriformis.htm

Learn more: https://bugguide.net/node/view/2026

Was hanging from Florida native plant: SWAMP BAY (Persea palustris)
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