'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Friday, 30 September 2011

The Two-Spined Spider

Sometimes on a summer day when sitting in my garden near the sitrus* I see this sort of spider. I have a sneaking suspicion that, supposing I were significantly smaller, I would be startled by this spider. I submit this suggestion because the the two-spined spider's slanted spines are shaded so as to seem to stare at someone or something that surveys it as being suitable for supper. I suggest it would be so surprising the predator would stop seeking supper here and search for it some situation less strikingly stereoscopic.
This spider succeeds in seeming scary from several spots, as my second snapshot shows.

Something else strange; the egg sac of this small spider is a surprising spindle-shape and can sometimes be spotted suspended under a stick.

Some say they have seen a six-spined spider, but as even a superficial scan shows it's not similar, it's surely a separate species.

* you would essify it too.
* They are truly to be found on lemon trees. Check up if you don't believe me.


  1. I understand that these spiders were accidentally imported from Australia and are now spreading over both main islands of New Zealand. I wonder what their impact has been on native NZ insect life.

  2. I haven't picked up that they've made much impression YP. Loads of worse stuff comes over from Aussie. I'm more concerned about the paper wasp, and the white-tail spider. We have a couple of colonies of Australian Redbacks here too, which seem to be threatening some rare native beetles down in the South Island...

  3. Anonymous30.9.11

    Wow! why haven't I ever seen one of those cartoon-looking arachnids in 64 years in this prehistoric country? Should be of World class interest... cheers from Chevaux1

  4. Welcome to TLVD, Chevaux1! Am I to assume you mean 'prehistoric' New Zealand? THey have been steadily spreading their range since about 1970 when they first appeared here from Australia. Perhaps they haven't got to you yet.

  5. I sertainly never saw such a spider before, ever, in my whole entire life. Sank* you! Your blog is ess-pecially informative of late!

    *Not to be confused with what sailors used to say in World War II, sighted sub, sank same....

    VW is reple. Ours not to reason we, ours not to make reple, ours but to do and de, into the valley of death rode the Six hundred.

  6. Splendid chap(ess). I first saw one and blogged about it at http://rotowhenua2.blogspot.com/2008/12/odd-newcomer.html However I didn't manage to get it looking like a space invader.

  7. How did I miss these last two comments?
    RWP, your ess-filled resonse is seen and suitably slightly silly. Sank you.
    GB I confess

  8. GB cont ... To having used a friend's image for the last one. Now to visit your post on the subject of two-spined spiders.