Zandvlei Trust

Insects - Spiders. (Technically are not classed as insects, I will included them here for interest).

Norman Larsen - (Associate Arachnologist, Iziko, South African Natural History Museum) kindly supplied and corrected some of the identifications and information on this page in December 2010.


photographs by Greg Morgan.

Comb-footed spiders (Theridion delicatum) Has a round abodmen and slender legs. They can be a variety of colours.


photographs by Greg Morgan.

Underside                                                               Right way up.

Orange Lungless Spider (Diploglena capensis) This spcies has only 2 eyes. They are fast moving nocturnal hunters. They hide in silken retreats under bark and leaf litter, also under rocks. Abdomen is grey and has short silky hair.


photograph by Greg Morgan.

Lynx spider (Oxyopidae Peucetia) Between 10 - 23mm leap to catch their prey, they have well developed vision. They do not build webs. They can change colour slowly to blend with the vegetation.

 

Black - legged Nephila (Nephilidae: Nephila fenestrata)

A sequence of photos showing the moulting of a female. The observed process took about 1.25 hours before she detached the sort thread and moved away from the old caprice which was left dangling in the breeze. 
                                                                                                                               new 10/02/2016.

The body and top parts of the legs are out.

It is a slow process.

The spider looks almost lifeless hanging there. The breeze was blowing it about.
The old shell above has the hair like leg bristtles evident.

The first rays of the morning sun lighting up the old caprice. The legs have been 
pulled up into this position and the spider is spinning around in the breeze.

The underside lit up by the sun. The hanging thread can be 
seen going through the old caprice.

The top side and the legs starting to move, now about 1 hour after the process started.

This sister spider to the one above in its nearby web had caught a very powerful flying 
Charaxes butterfly. The body parts were sucked dry in a day. Next day the wings had been
discarded from the web to the ground 3 metres below.


photographs by Greg Morgan.

Black - legged Nephila (Nephilidae: Nephila fenestrata) Has no venom, it quickly wraps its prey in silk and is covered with digestive enzymes. Can overpower much larger and more powerful insects than itself.
  corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Evanne Rothwell.

Black - legged Nephila (Nephilidae: Nephila fenestrata) The smaller one is the male.


photograph by Evanne Rothwell.

Black - legged Nephila (Nephilidae: Nephila fenestrata) The very striking female, note the feather like hairs on her legs.


photograph by Evanne Rothwell.

Black - legged Nephila (Nephilidae: Nephila fenestrata) spins a beautiful
golden yellow web.

Common Banded Argiope (Araneidae: Argiope australis) Females abodomen can be 25 - 30 mm in diameter. The silk used in the web has a golden colour, hence Golden orb - web spiders. This spider is diurnal and constructs a zigzag stabilimentum in its web. corrected by Norman Larsen.


photographs by Greg Morgan.

Huntsman (Sparassidae: Unidentified Genus)              African Mask Crab Spider (Thomisdae Synema
Fast moving in same family as the Rain Spider.              imitator) and do not make a web.
corrected by Norman Larsen.

 


photographs by Greg Morgan.

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) They are small, less than 5mm and are interesting. They have large eyes as they visually hunt their prey, by pouncing on the victim. They also have a complicated semaphore signalling system with their front legs and pedipalps.    corrected by Norman Larsen.


photographs by Greg Morgan.

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) with a subdued ant of unknown species.


                                                                           photograph by Greg Morgan.

Jumping Spider (Salticidae: Thyene inflata) with a juvenile Kelp Fly (Fucellia capensis) as prey. About 10mm long.


photograph by Greg Morgan.

Hairy Field Spider (Araneidae: Caerostris sexcuspidata)
See the wonderful face on the abdomen. corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Greg Morgan.

Hairy Field Spider (Araneidae: Neoscona species)
Only active at night, they weave an orb web. corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Greg Morgan.                                      photograph by Greg Morgan.

Banded Argiope (Araneidae: Argiope trifasciata) and a beautiful orb web with dew drops.
corrected by Norman Larsen.

Flower Crab Spider (Thomisidae: Thomisus species ) a white form on a daisy with a monkey beetle prey, yellow form with a fly. corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Greg Morgan.                                             photograph by Greg Morgan.

Bark Spider (Araneidae: Caerostris sexcuspidata) topside and underside, the legs are black on the underside with white bands on the underside.
At the moment this ID is under investigation corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Greg Morgan.

A Bark Spider (Araneidae: Caerostris sexcuspidata) when on a branch, is very difficult to see even when viewed from closeup. They blend into the colour of the branch or twig.
At the moment this ID is under investigation corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Bark Spider (Caerostris sexcuspidata) a female, found in a night search. Top view.


photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Bark Spider (Caerostris sexcuspidata) a female, underside.

Tropical Tent-web Spider (Araneidae: Cyrtophora citricola) back and side views holding onto the egg case attached to the inside of the intricate web, photographed at Bokmakierie Park.
corrected by Norman Larsen.

Tropical Tent-web Spider (Araneidae: Cyrtophora citricola) spiderlings in the web. There are sparkling rain drops on the web. corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Greg Morgan.

Sheet-web Pisaurids (Pisauridae: Euprosthenopsis pulchella) They catch prey that lands on their sheet-web through detection and speed. Belongs to same family as Fishing Spiders.
corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Martin Reitz.

Sheet-web Pisaurids (Pisauridae: Euprosthenopsis pulchella) they catch prey that lands on their sheet-web through detection and speed. Belongs to same family as Fishing Spiders andwas seen on 24/09/2004 on the Spring festival outing to the Zandvlei Nature Reserve. A light shower of rain provided the drops on the web. corrected by Norman Larsen.

This Black Common Baboon Spider (Theraphosidae: Harpactira atra) is in a glass jar for identification. Una Hartley found him in the garden at Westlake Wetlands Lakeside on 20/08/2004 and took it to Rondevlei Nature Reserve for identification. It was returned to the place it was found. He measures about 75 mm across and about 100 mm long. Colour black velvet like body and legs with longer brown hairs on the back of the abdomen. This is a much larger specimen than is usually found locally.
Subsquently a number of Baboon spiders have been seen in variuos locations around Zandvlei in the Spring and Summer 2004.  corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Martin Reitz.

A Spider Hunting Wasp (Tachypompilus ignitus) with an immobalised Black Common Baboon Spider (Theraphosidae: Harpactira atra). It is dragging the spider away to lay an egg on it so that the larvae can feed on the spider. These wasps also prey on Rain Spiders. corrected by Norman Larsen.

This Cape Rain Spider (Sparassidae: Palystes castaneus) was making its nest. 2 leaves were formed and the nest spun on the leaves. She still had to cover the nest with leaves and spin the outer web, which took about 6 hours. corrected by Norman Larsen.

Cape Rain Spider (Sparassidae: Palystes castaneus)   A female guarding her nest. Young spiderlings leaving the nest to begin their life cycle. corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Greg Morgan.

Cape Rain Spider (Sparassidae: Palystes castaneus) corrected by Norman Larsen.


photograph by Greg Morgan.

Cape Rain Spider (Sparassidae: Palystes castaneus)    corrected by Norman Larsen.

Threatening display to stay away from the nest.

Keeping a lookout.

Protecting the nest.

This Cape Rain Spider (Sparassidae: Palystes castaneus) was making its nest on 03/02/2004 in the Nature Reserve. corrected by Norman Larsen.

                                                                                                                                        

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