Monday, 14 May 2012
Rainy day spiders
Sometimes I need a post that basically says "I aitn't dead yet". This is one of those, because I'm busy on other stuff. There's a radio talk to clean up, there's a book to start, there are two in progress that need a shove, because they stopped progressing
There is hardly anything in Australian Backyard Naturalist about leaf-curling spiders, trapdoor spiders, spiders that live under water, net-casting spiders, spiders that use lassos or spitting spiders. The reason is simple: it wasn't a book about spiders, but the other arachnids are also fun. Go and burrow!
A photographic challenge for you: try photographing a flower spider (also called a crab spider) in different flowers or against backgrounds of different colours and see if you can catch it changing colour. Some books say American species like Misumena vatia can change colour, but I've never seen any Diaea in Australia change colour.
The arachnids get their name from the old Greek legend of Arachne. Track this story down, and on a wet day, retell it in your own words, with a uniquely Australian flavour. We are allowed to play with science, you know!
I may come back when I am less busy, and stick a couple of spider pictures in. Now, it's head down, back to the wall, shoulder to the wheel and nose to the grindstone!