Monday, February 4, 2013

I love spiders

Wolf spider
I know. I know. A lot of folks hate abhor despise dislike hate hate HATE spiders. Not me! Instead of running, I always stop and get a closer look when I meet one. The handsome he wolf (above) crossed my path in December, but I never got around to posting his portraits.

The lovely she crab (below) was clinging to our front door a few days ago, and James just happened to spot her. She might be with children because her abdomen is so LARGE.

So, you might ask, how do I know he's a he and she's a she? Well, a spider's pedipalps reveal their destiny in life....whether they'll lay eggs or provide the necessary sperm to create them. 

OK, I hear you. A definition's needed.

Pedipalps: A spider's extra pair of appendages used for feeling and holding prey.

Crab spider
To determine a spider's sex, look at the tip of its pedipalps. A male has club-tipped pedipalps (like a wood golf club), and a female doesn't. Look closely at the top photo, and you'll see the wolf spider's club-tipped palps.

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