Currently viewing the category: "Flatties"

Location: Masai Mara, Kenya
December 22, 2010 5:01 am
Hi Bugman,
As you mentioned you don’t get many entries from East Africa, here are a few close-ups of the spiders I live with.
Picture 1: A ”Flattie” or ”Wall Spider” from the Family Selenopidae. Selenops spp.

Keep an eye out for more. I’ve got tonnes!
Signature: Zarek

Flattie from Kenya

Hi again Zarek,
We in no way want to discourage you from sending additional images to post to What’s That Bug?, but this particular email contains images of details of the heads of three different spider species, which means we need to divide it into three different posts, each with a truncated version of your email comments.  We are well aware that the eye pattern configuration is a critical identification key to many spiders, but we feel that our readership would benefit much more if this posting contained a shot of the entire spider for comparison as well as a “headshot” detail image.  Our readership would also appreciate a bit more narrative on the individuals, including the circumstances surrounding the sighting and any unusual observations you may have made.  Flatties are awesome spiders that get their common name because they have such a low profile and they and squeeze between tight crevices.  Flatties are nocturnal hunting spiders that do not build a web to snare their prey.  BugGuide has images of some North American species.

Hi Daniel,
I’m sorry. I didn’t even think about the difficulty you would have categorizing each image separately.  Didn’t mean to create extra work for you!
This particular flattie was one of the first spiders that got me properly interested in spiders.  He would sit on the floor next to me while I was sitting on the toilet (too much information??) and just seemed to be watching me.  He had obviously lost a few legs (as is evident in the photo) and so couldn’t move quite as quickly as others of his kind usually can.
As you say, they are usually nocturnal, but I usually saw this guy out in broad daylight.
Since then, I’ve come across many other flatties around my tent, but never had a good opportunity to get another good picture of one with all its legs still attached.