Those sure are funny-looking spiders, Mary

While she’s away, I’m expected to take care of my wife’s animals, but so far I’m finding them mystifying. I can’t identify any of them, and I have a large collection of books for classifying North American invertebrates. I think they might be new species, never before seen by humans.

This one I’m calling a grey-backed bark spider.

This one is a red-headed pig-eating spider. As you can see, she has captured a bit of pork belly in the curiously colored red silk of her nest.

She better come back soon before I get even more confoozled.


  1. pipefighter says

    Do you guys have barking spiders down in Minnesota? I believe their scientific name is Arachna flatula.

  2. says

    This is the first time I have seen birds being fed meat. I know of seeds, nuts and seed packed together with (animal-)fat, all of which are common here in Germany.
    It looks that you can buy the meat in a net, is this a common thing in the US?

  3. wzrd1 says

    @PZ, which is why I far prefer physics.

    @3, the last remaining pack of drop bears are our personal pets in Pennsylvania, away from the harm Australia’s environmental threats prevail.
    Within the next few weeks, we’ll transfer them to an orbital. ;)

  4. Buzz Parsec says

    I think the spinnerets of the pig-eating spider are in the top of its head, which explains why the color of the web matches the color of the top of the head: shared pigmentation. (See what I did there.)
    We need an evopsych explanation of why pigs are attracted particularly to RED predator’s webs. Maybe it has to do with the pigs’ political affiliation?

  5. lumipuna says

    Turi – Pork belly is mostly fat. It’s energy rich and easy to eat, compared to lean meat.