I wanted to share this awesome spider I came across at the Sandy Creek Nature Center in Athens, GA where I volunteer. It appears to be a female Bolas spider, but different from the two species shown on BugGuide. ra I’ve continued to check up on her for two weeks (most recently October 2nd,) and I’ve never seen her move (though she’s clearly alive, and I read that Bolas are nocturnal.) In the last photo, there is an object to the left of the spider that may be an egg sac.
We agree that there are enough similarities to believe this is related to the Bolas Spiders, but it is possible it is even a differnt genus. Your spider does not possess the abdominla bumps that the Mastophora genus pictured on BugGuide posess. Have you submitted your images to BugGuide? If you ever get an exact identification, we would love to know about it. Meanwhile, we will check with our own group of experts to try to get assistance.
Confirmation (10/05/2007) From Eric Eaton
Wow. Good eye even to spot one of those! It is definitely a species of Mastophora, but there are 15 U.S. species in the genus and I don’t know how to segregate them. I’d have to look up a technical reference. It is possible that Jeff Hollenbeck over at Bugguide might know more, but he hasn’t even visited Bugguide for awhile to my knowledge…. Neat find.
P.S. Thanks again for the continuing free publicity for the field guide. I wish I could tell you how many people have bought it because of the mention at WTB.
Spider Fan Susan checks with an expert
I tried one person in Kentucky who I think somewhat knows the Bolas spiders:
Dear Blake Newton,
I hope you don’t mind my sending you this image of a bolas spider from Georgia. … I suppose this bolas is perhaps most likely to be one of these four species: Mastophora archeri, M. bisaccata, M. hutchinsoni or M. phrynosoma? Do you have any idea by any chance? Thanks a million,
I have never seen this one before, but I agree that it looks like a Mastophora of some kind. Maybe it is one that lives in GA but not KY? I was hoping it would be on Bugguide, but it looks like you’ve already checked that resource! Very interesting. I’d like to know if you find anything. Sincerely,
University of Kentucky