Sun, Oct 26, 2008 at 9:39 PM
My friends came over for breakfast the other day and while I was talking I noticed a little spider hanging off the side of a plant pot. I told my friends but as soon as they turned around the spider coiled up its legs and looked exactly like a small stick. They thought I was mad! But eventually they saw it move and became very interested in the little fellow.
It’s about 2 to 3 cm long and I think it looks a little bit like a miniature face-hugger form the film Alien!
Today I searched online and discovered that it is a whip spider. I know that the pictures I took of it aren’t too amazing, but it was so difficult to get a picture of it with its legs spread out that I thought images of them un-camouflaged would be quite rare.
Thanks for contributing photos of the fascinating Whip Spider, Argyrodes colubrinus, to our website archives. We are linking to the Australian Museum Online website that states: “Whip Spiders get their name from their elongate, worm-like body shape – up to about 20 mm long but only about 1 mm wide. They are common in forest habitats and can readily be seen in gardens on summer nights, suspended on delicate silk lines in spaces among shrubbery.
They specialise in feeding on wandering spiders, usually juveniles. The Whip Spider sits at the top of a few long silk threads that run downs below it among foliage. When a wandering spider walks up one of these handy silk `bridges’ it gets a nasty surprise. The waiting Whip Spider uses toothed bristles on the end segment of the last leg to comb out swathes of entangling sticky silk from its spinnerets. These rapidly entangle the struggling victim so that it cannot escape. “