Monday, March 18, 2013

Adventures in spider misidentification: Common Lynx

Lynx Spider perched on a rose leaf
I think this is a Common Lynx Spider (Oxypodes quadrifasciatus), but I'm pretty sure it is a lynx spider of some sort (family Oxypodidae). She's a bit more brightly red than the pictures on the Brisbane Insects & Spiders page, but such variation is to be expected. Of course, I've been known to be wrong about spiders before, but if so this time I have lots of company on the WWW since there are more than one such red lynxes with the same name appended.

The lynx spider was sitting on top of her egg mass on the underside of a leaflet of an old sprawling rose here in the Hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast until I started chasing her with my point-and-shoot. Lynx spiders are hunters and don't build webs for capturing their prey, but like to pounce like a wild cat. They tend to be fairly attractive as spiders go and are fun to watch.

Brown Huntsman in colour and maybe in genus
Australian Huntsman (Sparrasidae) are also hunting spiders and 'very interesting' to watch. When a spider with the leg-span of a large human hand is walking across your window in the middle of the night, the feeling induced can be very ambiguous. Still they usually only scare people to death and most have painful but not very dangerous bites. This one seemed to be eating something composed of scales and silk - perhaps a moth caught in another spider's web. Possibly it is a member of the genus Heteropoda. Many of these featured in the film Arachnophobia.

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