Friday, April 8, 2016

What is THAT?

Yesterday, I gave my "Spiders of Central Texas" presentation to our new "Class of 2016" of Texas Master Naturalists with the Highland Lakes chapter. Great group! Afterward, four members and class coordinator Ann C. came by our house for a garden tour. James and I always enjoy sharing what we've created in our Wildscape.

Anyway, later in the evening, we were out in the gardens when I happened to spot this odd little creature, no longer than half an inch and poised on a fragrant gaillardia stem. I tried and tried to get a good, focused shot, but I just couldn't. Especially one of the "head" of what I thought was a leafhopper? Or a winged-insect? I just couldn't figure out what it was.

Until later, when I was looking through my images on my camera at my desk. Wait a minute....hmmmmm. AH HA! What I thought had been "wings" were actually LEGS and the "head" was an ABDOMEN!

My critter was a SPIDER! 

But what kind? I had no clue. This one was new to me. So I pulled out my Common Spiders of North America by Richard A. Bradley and went to work. I was pretty sure it was an orbweaver. Sure enough, I came across illustrations that looked like my spider....hackled orbweavers. classifies them as Uloborus sp. I'll upload a photo, and see what the experts think. 

UPDATE–I was right and wrong. My spider is a crab spider, not an orbweaver. (That makes better sense, too, because it was lurking on a stem.) More specifically, it's a Tmarus species. Check it out

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