Monday, October 31, 2016

a green lynx?

If you are a naturalist, the little things can be fascinating. That's the way it was for my Spider-ology class last week at the nature center.

Green lynx spider hiding in plain sight
The most interesting spider we discovered was a mother green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) caught by Lisa and correctly IDed by Jackson. We knew she was a mom because she was covered with tiny spiderlings.

This garden spider is lanky and green to better blend into its surroundings, but as we move into fall its color becomes a paler yellow, typically with streaks of red or terracotta, so its camouflage changes with the season. Their eight legs are also masked, covered with spots and spikes. 

Lynx spiders eat a lot of garden pests, so farmers appreciate their choice of diet. They do not spin webs about rather merely sit and wait, attacking their prey like a cat, hence the name "lynx." But perhaps their most fascinating uniqueness is their ability to squirt venom up to 8 inches from their chelicerae (mouth parts below their eight eyes). Now that's a super power. 

For more photos from our class click: Spider-ology

My next Ology class is Hawk-ology, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2 p.m. to register call Ijams: 577-4717, ext. 110.

 Happy Halloween!

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