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When patience pays off

December 13, 2019

Spiders are such patient creatures. Not those like Wolf Spiders and others which actively patrol the ground and run down prey, but those spiders which sit in the middle of a web and wait for errant prey to get caught. Even more patient are the ambush predators which sit camouflaged in the vegetation and wait until something lands within ‘arms reach’.

In my backyard I have several tussocks of Phalaris, a grass introduced as stock feed (not by me). For the past week or so sitting on a seed head and blending in nicely has been a Crab Spider (Runcinia sp.), pictured left. Its front two pairs of legs are long and covered with short, stout bristles, designed for reaching out and grasping prey.

What this spider knows is that in the early morning the phalaris seed heads are a favourite place for flies to land to warm themselves in the rising sun. The seed heads are covered in flies and with patience it is just a matter of time before a fly lands within reach of the spider’s grasp.

Breakfast. Persistence pays.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Peter Mitchell permalink
    December 13, 2019 4:40 pm

    Hello Ron, Good to see spiders in action. I just completed my annual weed blitz in a local reserve Usually I am constantly apologising to the Spiny Spiders and others for wrecking their webs. This year, just one web! And a face full of flies – a first for me in this area – rather than spiders and their webs.

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