Fruits of our labors

As promised, we got out this morning to collect spiders. Our destination: West Side Park in Hancock, MN. We got a few. The prime hunting ground was a covered picnic area that had a metal frame with corrugated sheet metal walls that was great for the spiders, because they could hide in the spaces between the metal frame and the corrugated metal…unfortunately, it was bad for spider hunters, because they could hide a little too effectively.

Still, we managed to get a few more of our familiar friends, Parasteatoda:

That one came with an egg sac. We also found a few Steatoda borealis, including this robust male:

There were more of these little yellow guys, probably Theridion:

Grass spiders, of course:

Then there was this monster, which is not a spider. I think it’s an armored potato on stilts.

It was a good haul. Slightly disappointing, because it was OK, but not great. Sometimes you go to a site, and it’s like the Spider Apocalypse has arrived, and everywhere you go there spiders stacked up on spiders with spiders dribbling off the sides. This time, it was a decent batch but nothing to go in my memoirs.


  1. Artor says

    I used to live in a mountain place with a little concrete cistern up the hillside. I went to inspect the thing once, and lifted the corrugated metal roof to peer inside. The walls and underside of the lid were COVERED in a writhing mass of thumb-sized black bodies with way too many long, long legs. I am not arachnophobic, but they were huge, inches from my hand, and starting to move in the light. I dropped the lid and levitated 20 feet up the hillside in about a nanosecond.
    With time to reflect, I realized there just weren’t any kind of spiders like that living in North America. I went in for a second peek and quickly identified them as cave crickets. Their antennae are as long as their legs, so they were hard to tell apart. And because there was nothing but cold water below them, they learned to skitter on the walls rather than hop. Altogether, they made a very convincing proxy for the SPIDER! reflex.

  2. Ridana says

    Are you sure that last one isn’t a robot? The copper fittings where the legs plug in just don’t look organic to me. o.o