Saturday, October 25, 2008

House guest

"What's that?" Lindsey asked Tuesday, glancing up at the ceiling in our dining room.

"A crab spider, duh," I replied. Lindsey's lived with me long enough to know a spider when she sees one. She's also pretty good at identifying them herself.

At any rate, we all acknowledged the crab spider's lurking, upside-down presence. I'd wave sometimes when breezing by. No big deal. The species is completely harmless. Except to insect victims.

Speaking of which, today I realized that spider up there on our ceiling has NOT been catching bugs, even though it always perched with its legs ready to spring. So I shot a photo, then gently nudged it onto my finger. You should have seen me twisting into unnatural positions to photograph (one handed) the spider on my finger in the sunlight just right. But I got him! Then I carried him outside, figuring I'd get some environmental shots, too. Nope! As soon as I let him go on a fence post, he was gone!

And yes, our house guest was a male. How do I know? In the bottom photo, you can see his pedipalps (the extra appendages near his mouth). The tips are clubbed. That how you sex a spider.

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