Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, November 04, 2011

Another encounter with a special Huntsman Spider

I first wrote about this spider in December 2007 - it seems so long ago. Obvious not the same individual - presumably its great, great, great, Grandmother or Grandfather (assuming an annual generation period).

For arachnophobes, I need to give the standard Image Alert - there is a close-up face-to-face view of this spider. True arachnophobes will not have even opened the Blog, I assume.

As happened some four years ago,
I stumbled across this spider hanging upside down
on some swamp grasses and rushes adjacent to Butlers Swamp in Kangaloon.
In the previous case it had just shed its old exoskeleton
and as a result it was just drying itself out, and was reluctant to move.
Its skin was soft and velvety looking.
The previous one i saw was almost green on the back.
But I knew it had just shed its old exoskelton.

In this case I saw no sign of the old skin.
But this chap was definitely reluctant to move.
Huntsman Spider - possibly the Shield Huntsman Spider.
 This spider is not displaying the "shield" or "badge" from which it gets its name. However, it does have the colourful under side, and the bright blue patches in the joints of its legs

Knowing how many of the local plants are not well studied, it seems entirely likely to me that this might also be a local species, not yet recorded. or if it is named, it is not well reported in the main literature.
Possibly Shield Huntsman Spider







Here is the scary image warning.







While you are thinking about it. here are some links to follow, to other sites, dealing with the same (or closely related) species.
  1. http://www.findaspider.org.au/find/spiders/481.htm
  2. http://australianmuseum.net.au/image/Badge-Huntsman-Spider-on-twig/
  3. http://australianmuseum.net.au/Huntsman-Spiders
 And now on with the next image:

I believe from the palps (the "flaps" either side of the mouth)
this is almost certainly a male.
As close as I dared to go with this Shield Huntsman Spider

4 comments:

catmint said...

great photos - a bit scary although I believe their bite is not deadly - just unpleasant.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Catmint.
I was not taking any chances. Huntsmen can move very quickly when they wish to.
I think this one was recharging its batteries.
I really wanted to check for the mysterious "badge mark", but I didn't want to disturb it. Partly because I think it was just settling into its new exoskelton (if it was indeed the same circumstances as last year). And partly because I didn't want it to run up my arm.
Cheers
Denis

Mac_fromAustralia said...

Cute blue knees. Fascinating critters, especially when someone else has taken photos!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mac
I liked the blue "knees" too.
I take it you prefer that I risk getting close, to save you having to do it?
I hadn't taken you for a "squib".
But its OK. I know not everybody can bear Spiders.
Cheers
Denis