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What is this spider hunting in the tree in the night?

What is this spider hunting in the tree in the night?


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I took the following picture of this spider in northern Switzerland (alt: ~700m) with macro flash/lense.

The picture was taken during the night in a cedar tree (Thuja occidentalis).


It's look like Sac Spider (Clubiona lutescens) to me.

Source: http://ednieuw.home.xs4all.nl/Spiders/Clubionidae/Clubionidae.htm


Spider eat spider: Scientists discover 18 new spider-hunting pelican spiders in Madagascar

In 1854, a curious-looking spider was found preserved in 50 million-year-old amber. With an elongated neck-like structure and long mouthparts that protruded from the "head" like an angled beak, the arachnid bore a striking resemblance to a tiny pelican. A few decades later when living pelican spiders were discovered in Madagascar, arachnologists learned that their behavior is as unusual as their appearance, but because these spiders live in remote parts of the world they remained largely unstudied -- until recently.

At the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, curator of arachnids and myriapods Hannah Wood has examined and analyzed hundreds of pelican spiders both in the field in Madagascar and through study of pelican spiders preserved in museum collections. Her analysis, focused on spiders of the Eriauchenius and Madagascarchaea genera, sorted the spiders she studied into 26 different species -- 18 of which have never before been described. Wood and colleague Nikolaj Scharff of the University of Copenhagen describe all 26 pelican spider species in the Jan. 11 issue of the journal Zookeys.

Wood says pelican spiders are well known among arachnologists not only for their unusual appearance, but also for the way they use their long "necks" and jaw-like mouthparts to prey on other spiders. "These spiders attest to the unique biology that diversified in Madagascar," she said.

Pelican spiders are active hunters, prowling the forest at night and following long silk draglines that lead them to their spider prey. When a pelican spider finds a victim, it swiftly reaches out and impales it on its long, fang-tipped "jaws," or chelicerae. Then it holds the capture away from its body, keeping itself safe from potential counterattacks, until the victim dies.

Today's pelican spiders are "living fossils," Wood says -- remarkably similar to species found preserved in the fossil record from as long as 165 million years ago. Because the living spiders were found after their ancestors had been uncovered in the fossil record and presumed extinct, they can be considered a "Lazarus" taxon. In addition to Madagascar, modern-day pelican spiders have been found in South Africa and Australia -- a distribution pattern that suggests their ancestors were dispersed to these landmasses when the Earth's supercontinent Pangaea began to break up around 175 million years ago.

Madagascar is home to vast numbers of plant and animal species that exist only on the island, but until recently, only a few species of pelican spiders had been documented there. In 2000, the California Academy of Sciences launched a massive arthropod inventory in Madagascar, collecting spiders, insects and other invertebrates from all over the island.

Wood used those collections, along with specimens from other museums and spiders that she collected during her own field work in Madagascar, to conduct her study. Her detailed observations and measurements of hundreds of specimens led to the identification of 18 new species -- but Wood says there are almost certainly more to be discovered. As field workers continue to collect specimens across Madagascar, "I think there's going to be a lot more species that haven't yet been described or documented," she said.

The spiders Wood personally collected, including holotypes (the exemplar specimens) for several of the new species, will join the U.S. National Entomological Collection at the Smithsonian, the second-largest insect collection in the world, where they will be preserved and accessible for further research by scientists across the globe.

All of the pelican spiders that Wood described live only in Madagascar, an island whose tremendous biodiversity is currently threatened by widespread deforestation. The new species add to scientists' understanding of that biodiversity, and will help Wood investigate how pelican spiders' unusual traits have evolved and diversified over time. They also highlight the case for conserving what remains of Madagascar's forests and the biodiversity they contain, she says.

Funding for this study was provided by the Danish National Research Foundation and the National Science Foundation.


The genus was established in 1878 by German arachnologist Friedrich Karsch. The fringed jumping spider (Portia fimbriata) is the type species. [1]

Molecular phylogeny, a technique that compares the DNA of organisms to construct the tree of life, indicates that Portia is a member of a basal clade (i.e. quite similar to the ancestors of all jumping spiders), and that the Spartaeus, Phaeacius, and Holcolaetis genera are its closest relatives. [3]

Wanless divided the genus Portia into two species groups: the schultzi group, in which males' palps have a fixed tibial apophysis and the kenti group, in which the apophysis of each palp in the males has a joint separated by a membrane. [4] The schultzi group includes P. schultzi, P. africana, P. fimbriata, and P. labiata. [5]

At least some species of Portia are in the state of reproductive isolation: in a laboratory, male P. africana copulated with female P. labiata but no eggs were laid during all cases the female P. labiata twisted and lunged in an attempt to bite. [6] : 435-466

Some specimens found trapped in Oligocene amber were identified as related to Portia. [7]

Portia are vulnerable to larger predators such as birds and frogs, which a Portia often cannot identify because of the predator's size. [8] Some insects prey on Portia, for example, mantises, the assassin bugs Nagusta sp. indet. and Scipinnia repax. [9]

Portia often hunt in ways that seem intelligent. [11] All members of Portia have instinctive hunting tactics for their most common prey, but can improvise by trial and error against unfamiliar prey or in unfamiliar situations, and then remember the new approach. [8]

They are capable of trying out a behavior to obtain feedback regarding success or failure, and they can plan ahead (as it seems from their detouring behavior). [12]

Portia species can make detours to find the best attack angle against dangerous prey, even when the best detour takes a Portia out of visual contact with the prey, [8] and sometimes the planned route leads to abseiling down a silk thread and biting the prey from behind. Such detours may take up to an hour, [13] and a Portia usually picks the best route even if it needs to walk past an incorrect route. [14] : 422 If a Portia makes a mistake while hunting another spider, it may itself be killed. [13] [15]

Nonetheless, they seem to be relatively slow thinkers, as is to be expected since they solve tactical problems by using brains vastly smaller than those of mammalian predators. [11] Portia has a brain significantly smaller than the size of the head of a pin, [16] and it has only about 600,000 neurons. [17]

Portia can distinguish their own draglines from conspecifics, recognizing self from others, and also discriminate between known and unknown spiders. [18]

Their favorite prey appears to be web-building spiders between 10% and 200% of their own size. Portia look like leaf detritus caught in a web, and this is often enough to fool web-building spiders, which have poor eyesight. [11]

When stalking web-building spiders, Portia try to make different patterns of vibrations in the web that aggressively mimic the struggle of a trapped insect or the courtship signals of a male spider, repeating any pattern that induces the intended prey to move towards the Portia. [19] Portia fimbriata has been observed to perform vibratory behavior for three days until the victim decided to investigate. [20] They time invasions of webs to coincide with light breezes that blur the vibrations that their approach causes in the target's web and they back off if the intended victim responds belligerently. Other jumping spiders take detours, but Portia is unusual in its readiness to use long detours that break visual contact. [19]

Laboratory studies show that Portia learns very quickly how to overcome web-building spiders that neither it nor its ancestors would have met in the wild. Portia's accurate visual recognition of potential prey is an important part of its hunting tactics. For example, in one part of the Philippines, local Portia spiders attack from the rear against the very dangerous spitting spiders, which themselves hunt jumping spiders. This appears to be an instinctive behavior, as laboratory-reared Portia of this species do this the first time they encounter a spitting spider. On the other hand, they will use a head-on approach against spitting spiders that are carrying eggs. However, experiments that pitted Portia against "convincing" artificial spiders with arbitrary but consistent behavior patterns showed that Portia's instinctive tactics are only starting points for a trial-and-error approach from which these spiders learn very quickly. [19]

Against other jumping spiders, which also have excellent vision, Portia may mimic fragments of leaf litter detritus. When close to biting range, Portia use different combat tactics against different prey spiders. On the other hand, when attacking unarmed prey, such as flies, they simply stalk and rush, [21] and they also capture prey by means of sticky webs. [19]

Portia can also rely on movement cues to locate prey. In this specific strategy, when potential prey knows it's been seen and stands still to avoid detection, undirected leaps occur in the vicinity of the prey. As a result, the prey will then react to this visual cue, believing itself to have been seen, providing motion that allows Portia to see and attack it. [22]

Portia may also scavenge corpses of dead arthropods they found, [23] and consume nectar. [24]

Members of the species Portia africana were observed living together and sharing prey. [25]

If a mature Portia male meets a sub-mature female, he will try to cohabitate with her. [6] : 467

P. labiata females can discriminate between the draglines of familiar and unfamiliar individuals of the same species. [26] and between their own draglines and those of conspecifics. [27] The ability to recognize individuals is a necessary prerequisite for social behavior. [28]


What is this spider hunting in the tree in the night? - Biology

The spiders on this page are a few of the spiders that are commonly found in gardens and yards around Portland, Oregon. Many of these spiders may also wander into homes, crawl-spaces, and garages in search of prey, mates, or a place to lay their eggs.

"Web-building" spiders spin webs to capture prey. The type of web that a spider spins is often used to help identify it. The types of webs that different spiders may spin include orb webs, cob webs and sheet webs.

"Wandering" spiders do not construct webs to capture prey. They either actively pursue prey or they wait for prey to wander or fly within their reach.

Size: Adult female body length is about 3/8 - 5/8 inch with a total length (including legs) up to about 1 1/2 inches. When gravid (with fertilized eggs), the female's abdomen may appear quite swollen, as in the above photo. Adult females are much larger than adult males. Adult male body length is about 3/8 inch, but the abdomen is much thinner than females.

Araneus diadematus spiderlings, clustered together (rollover for same cluster of young spiders scattered after touching them lightly)

Behavior: These spiders spin orb-webs to capture flying insects. Webs are typically consumed by the spider before spinning a replacement web. Females continue to spin webs after maturing into an adult, but males typically do not. Once mature, males wander in search of females to mate. Egg sacs are produced in autumn, and deposited under leaves or in crevices. After their eggs are laid, the adult spiders typically die. In the spring, the eggs hatch and tiny golden spiderlings emerge.

When and Where to Find: This spider may be found most anywhere near human habitations, from door frames and house eaves to between branches of shrubs and trees. These spiders are most noticeable in late summer, as they begin to attain their adult size. By mid-September the females typically reach their full mature size, with large abdomens. Female spiders need large webs to catch the many insects they need to eat to help them mature, and these webs are often constructed at eye-level, making them very noticeable.

Identification: Both sexes are reddish-brown to medium brown, commonly with reddish-orange tones. A darker pyramid shape is located on the spider's dorsal abdomen, with a series of white dots and lines within it, in the shape of a cross. This white cross is what gives this spider one of its common names.

Notes: Spiders are able to recycle their silk for future use. They do this by first rolling the silken threads of their web into a ball, and then eating the silk.

Scientific Name: Agelenopsis sp.

Family: Agelenidae (the funnel-web spiders)

Size: body length is about 1/4-1/2 inch total length (including legs) is about 1 1/4 –1 1/2 inches.

Behavior: These spiders build a web that looks like a flat sheet, with a funnel-shaped retreat at the rear. The spider typically sits inside the funnel part of the web and waits for prey to wander or land on their web. They quickly run from the funnel retreat to subdue prey before dragging it back into the retreat to consume.

When and Where to Find: Their common name, grass spider, belies their habitat preference. They typically build webs among grasses or other low vegetation such as ivy and mat-forming shrubs. They can be found in late spring through the summer and early fall.

Identification: A sheet web with a funnel at the end is distinctive for this family, and webs of this type suggest this spider may be present. The spider is typically medium brown with a lighter midline and edge striping on the cephalothorax. The abdomen tends to have one or more lengthwise concentric areas of a lighter pattern. Long spinnerets that extend well beyond the end of the abdomen are always present.

Common Name: Filmy Dome Spider

Scientific Name: Neriene

Size: body length is 3/16 - 7/16 inches.

Behavior: These spiders spin horizontal webs, and normally hang upside down from their webs while they are awaiting prey. When an insect lands on their web, they bite it from below their webs. When not feeding, they may hide in a retreat at the web's margin.

When and Where to Find: Linyphiids may be found from winter through summer. They build sheet webs in sheltered locations such as under fallen logs, in hollow tree trunks or beneath overhangs. Webs may be maintained for long periods of time.

Identification: The habitat and web these spiders are found in will help with their identification. Both sexes have rather long, narrow bodies with a dark brown coloration, with lighter colored legs that are longer than their bodies. Adult males possess very enlarged palps (see photo above).

Common Name: no common name exists for this species of spider

Scientific Name: Hololena sp.

Size: body length about 1/2 inch total length (including legs) about 1 inch.

Behavior: This spider constructs sheet webs, commonly in shrubs, with a circular retreat at the back of the web in which the spider sits-in-wait for prey to enter the web. They are usually active at night, but may opportunistically take prey during the day.

When and Where to Find: Very common in summer through early fall. Look for their webs in dense shrubs and at the base of ornamental or bunch grasses.

Identification: Tan to light brown, with nearly parallel dark stripes extending from the eyes to the rear of the cephalothorax. Similar dark stripes extend the length of the abdomen giving the appearance of two thin dark stripes extending from the eyes to the spinnerets.

Common Name: Goldenrod Crab Spider

Scientific Name: Misumena vatia

Family: Thomisidae (crab spiders)

Size: Males and females are sexually dimorphic, meaning they are very different in size and appearance when they are adults. Adult females have a body length of about 3/8 inch, and their abdomens can become quite large when they are gravid. Adult males are much thinner and smaller, with a body length up to 5/32 inch.

Behavior: This spider sits-and-waits, typically on flowers, for insect prey to land within reach. As adults, they specialize in eating bees and flies that pollinate flowers. They wait with outstretched legs for an insect to land within grasp, then quickly grab the insect with their first two legs, and deliver a bite that paralyzes the insect.

When and Where to Find: On flowers in sunny areas, and less frequently on flowers and vegetation in partially shaded habitats. Immatures can be found in spring, while adults may be found in early summer through early fall.

Identification: The first and second pairs of legs are very long and extend sideways. Females are uniformly light-colored, except for a pair of red stripes extending halfway back from the front of the abdomen. Individuals can change their body color (over a few days time) to better match the flower color they are on, changing between yellow (photo), or white (rollover photo). The immature males are whitish in color, but their first two pairs of legs begin to turn dark as they mature. After their final molt when they are adults, the males' first two legs and cephalothorax are dark reddish-black, while their abdomen is pale yellow with two reddish stripes.

Common Name: A type of cobweb spider without a common name

Scientific Name: Enoplognatha ovata

Family: Theridiidae (cobweb weavers)

Size: adult body length about 5/32 to 9/32 inch.

Behavior: This spider exhibits an unusual behavior compared to others spiders in this family. While most cobweb weavers build cobwebs designed to capture prey, Enoplognatha does not build a web, but instead actively stalks its prey. It typically bites its prey, and then may use some silk to help subdue its prey, but does not wrap it in silk. They are typically found in vegetation, and eat insects that are attracted to the flowers, or insects that rest on the leaves of the plant.

When and Where to Find: During summer on vegetation frequented by pollinators.

Identification: Abdomen round in shape, and much larger than cephalothorax. Abdomen white to light yellow in color, normally with two parallel rows of dots on either side of mid-line on dorsal (upper) side, extending from near cephalothorax to near spinnerets. Some individuals have pronounced red or black markings on their abdomen.


adult female lynx spider

Common Name: Western lynx spider

Scientific Name: Oxyopes scalaris

Family: Oxyopidae (lynx spiders)

Size: body length up to about 5/16 inch.

Behavior: Active predators during the day. They are both sit-and-wait predators, but may also stalk their prey like a cat. They move using a characteristic darting behavior, and are capable of moving quickly. However, they also can often be found sitting still and basking in the sun, as the above male lynx spider was when photographed.

When and Where to Find: Adults can be found late spring through summer, often in tall grasses or other vegetation.

Identification: Body color is bronze. Many spines (macrosetae) are present on their legs, giving them a spiny appearance.


female wolf spider with egg sac attached to her abdomen

Common Name: Thinlegged Wolf Spider

Scientific Name: Pardosa sp.

Family: Lycosidae (wolf spiders)

Size: adult body length about 5/16 to 1/2 inch.

Behavior: Daytime hunters, they actively pursue their prey. Female wolf spiders lay their eggs in an egg sac, which they then carry attached to their spinnerets. After the young hatch, the spiderlings climb onto their mother's back and cling to her until they are large enough to hunt on their own (for photos of this, see a different species of wolf spider at bottom of this page ).

When and Where to Find: Very abundant and visible in early spring to early summer. In lawns, gardens, and other semi-open habitats (not common in forested habitats). Can often be observed in early morning on vegetation and rocks that are warmed by the sun.

Identification: Species in this genus often possess white lines that run down the center of their bodies, but this species lacks such markings, and instead is a more uniform dark-brown to black color.


adult Dysdera crocata

Common Name: Woodlouse Hunter

Scientific Name: Dysdera crocata

Size: body length about 3/8 to 5/8 inch length including legs, up to about 1 3/8 inches.

Behavior: These nocturnal spiders prey mostly on woodlice, also commonly known as pill or sow bugs. They build retreats underground and in decaying logs in which to molt, and deposit eggs.

When and Where to Find: Most commonly found in Portland from spring through fall. You are most likely to encounter them when digging in the garden, or under rocks or logs. Males may wander at night in search of females and may be seen outside their normal habitats, such as in basements and crawlspaces.

Identification: The legs and cephalothorax of Dysdera are reddish-orange, and their abdomens gray-colored. A distinguishing feature of this species is the pair of large chelicerae that project forward, which allows them to prey on woodlice.


adult female wolf spider with tan-colored egg sac attached to her spinnerets

Scientific Name: Lycosid spider

Family: Lycosidae (wolf spiders)

Size: Varies, depending upon species.

Behavior: As above described for Pardosa sp.

When and Where to Find: The species pictured (possibly Pardosa distincta) is common in the Oregon coast mountains, not in Portland gardens and yards. It is included on this page because the photos depict typical wolf spider maternal behaviors, including a female carrying her egg sac, and a female carrying her newly hatched young on her abdomen. Commonly found in open areas in the summer and early fall.

Identification: Body and legs variable shades of brown, often very cryptically colored, such that the spider blends in with the background it is on and therefore may be difficult to see. Cephalothorax typically dark brown with lighter median stripe. Egg sac attached to the spinnerets of adult females are characteristics of wolf spiders. Nocturnal wolf spiders possess eyes that reflect light at night.

For fun: To find wolf spiders at night, shine a flashlight across the ground and look for their small eye reflections, like little glints of gold.


Phidippus johnsoni

Common Name: Johnson jumper (top photo)

Scientific Name: Phidippus johnsoni

Common Name: bold jumper (bottom photo)

Scientific Name: Phidippus audax

Family: Salticidae (jumping spiders)

Size: These are the largest jumping spiders you will find in the Portland area.

Behavior: Jumping spiders do not build webs to hunt prey, but instead rely on their keen vision to locate and pounce upon insects.

When and Where to Find: Because they stalk their prey, they often sit motionless on top of plants where flying insects are likely to land. In the cool of the day they may also sit in the sun on walls, rocks, and on top of plants.

Identification: The adult spiders are easy to tell apart from other jumping spiders by their large size. Adult females will have large abdomens, as those pictured here. When they move their palps away from their face, you can see their brilliant metallic bluish-green chelicerae.

Common Name: slender crab spider

Scientific Name: Tibellus oblongus

Family: Philodromidae (running crab spiders)

When and Where to Find:These spiders are often found on vegetation, such as tall grasses or perennial and annual plants. Like true crab spiders, they do not build webs to catch prey, but instead wait for an insect to approach them.


Early Superstitions:

1507
When a man fyndeth a spyder upon his gowne it is a synge to be that daye ryght happye.

1594
If a spinner creepe uppon him, hee shall have golde raine downe from heaven.

1662
When a Spider is found upon our clothes, we use to say. Some money is coming towards us. The Moral is this, such who…. Imitate the industry of that contemptible creature… may by God’s blessing weave themselves into wealth and procure a plentiful estate.

1732
Others have thought themselves secure of receiving Money, if … by chance, a little Spider fell upon their Cloaths.

1780
Small spiders termed Money-Sinners are held by many to prognosticate good luck if they are not destroyed or injured or removed from the person on whome they are first observed.

1816
A spider descending upon you from the roof is a token that you will soon have legacy from a friend.

1923
If a big black spider comes into the house it is a sure sign of death


In the anime

Major appearances

In Ariados, Amigos, Tōkichi used a Ariados to battle Aya in an effort to make her stronger. It later participated in the battle against Team Rocket, where it eventually wrapped them up in its web.

In Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias, Oakley's Ariados is her main Pokémon in her mission to capture Latios and Latias.

In All in a Day's Wurmple, Forrester Franklin used an Ariados and a Yanma in a Double Battle against Ash. They went up against Pikachu and Treecko. After a long battle, Ash emerged victorious, with Ariados being knocked out by Treecko's Pound.

Harley's Ariados debuted in The Saffron Con. It reappeared in Harley Rides Again and New Plot, Odd Lot! in the latter episode, it was temporarily loaned to James and Meowth.

In Following A Maiden's Voyage!, multiple Ariados attacked Dawn and her Piplup after the latter got caught in one of their webs. However, they worked together to escape them, and the Ariados were sent flying by Piplup's Bide.

Starting in Mutiny in the Bounty!, J's Ariados ties up her victims with String Shot as J steals their Pokémon. In Pillars of Friendship!, Ariados used String Shot, tying up Ash and his friends to prevent them from stopping the Legendary titans and Regigigas.

In Stopped in the Name of Love!, eight Ariados attacked Dawn and her Piplup, mimicking the first day of their journey. Just like the first time, they were sent flying by Piplup's Bide.

In DPS01, multiple Ariados led by a Shiny one attacked Dawn and Shinko, once again mimicking the attack at the start of Dawn's journey. This time, they were defeated when Dawn's Cyndaquil evolved into a Quilava and used Eruption.

In Diancie — Princess of the Diamond Domain, three Ariados surrounded Merrick, Bort, and Allotrope as they were searching for Diancie. However, they were warded off by a Pangoro trapped in a log.

In A Slippery Encounter!, an Ariados was agitated by Chespin's Pin Missile and attacked it before being fought off by Pikachu.

In Defending the Homeland!, multiple Ariados served as Florges's minions. They were ordered to attack Goodra's homeland sometime prior to the episode, and Goodra and its friends during the episode. They then made further appearances in Pokémon the Series: XY.

In The Legend of the Ninja Hero!, a ninja army used two Ariados during the attack on Ninja Village. They reappeared in the next episode.

Minor appearances

In UnBEARable, Misty's fantasy featured multiple Ariados.

In For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll!, multiple Ariados were part of the team protecting the Tin Tower after Team Rocket stole the Crystal Bells on the top floor.

In From Cradle to Save, a student at the Pokémon Ninja School had an Ariados.

An Ariados appeared in a flashback in Oh Do You Know The Poffin Plan!.

In Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! (Part 1), Kellyn used his Capture Styler on an Ariados and then had it use String Shot on some Crobat that belonged to J's henchmen.

In Historical Mystery Tour!, multiple Ariados attacked Dawn and Piplup in Xatu's Forest.

Multiple Ariados appeared in a flashback in A Slippery Encounter!.

Multiple Ariados appeared in a flashback in An Oasis of Hope!.

In Meeting at Terminus Cave!, an Ariados was living inside Terminus Cave.

In A Little Rocket R & R!, two Trainers' Ariados were captured by the Matori Matrix but later freed by Ash and his friends.

Two Ariados appeared in Time After Time!. Goh caught one, while the other appeared in a flashback. Goh's Ariados has since made further appearances in Pokémon Journeys: The Series.


In the anime

Major appearances

Spinarak debuted in Spinarak Attack. The Officer Jenny in Catallia City uses Spinarak rather than Growlithe, in order to honor the Spinarak that foiled a notorious cat burglar known as The Black Arachnid. It reappeared in a flashback in the Japanese version of Gotta Catch Ya Later!.

In Gettin' The Bugs Out, Bugsy used a Spinarak in his Gym battle against Ash. It first battled Cyndaquil, who was eventually recalled for Chikorita, who in turn was able to defeat Spinarak despite the type disadvantage.

In Ariados, Amigos, five Spinarak were living at the Pokémon Jujitsu Academy. Their silk was being used as beauty masks.

In Abandon Ship!, a Spinarak living on the Abandoned Ship tied up and hung Torchic, Max, and Meowth in its silk.

In The Treasure Is All Mine!, Sebastian used a Spinarak in an attempt to tie James up, but they were both defeated by Mime Jr.'s Teeter Dance.

In Turning Heads and Training Hard!, a Team Skull Grunt used a Spinarak that was quickly defeated by Ilima and his Eevee. In League Offenders and Defenders!, it was defeated by Team Rocket.

Minor appearances

In Pikachu & Pichu, a Spinarak was living in Big Town.

In The Bug Stops Here, Misty chased a Spinarak away after it scared her.

In Hassle In The Castle, Dr. Anna uses her Spinarak's thread to make bandages for her patients.

A Trainer's Spinarak appeared in Imitation Confrontation.

Five Spinarak appeared in Ariados, Amigos.

In UnBEARable, a Spinarak dropped in front of Misty and scared her.

Multiple Spinarak appeared in Celebi: The Voice of the Forest.

In For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll!, multiple Spinarak defended the Tin Tower after Team Rocket stole the Crystal Bells on the top floor.

Three wild Spinarak appeared in The Legend of Thunder!.

In Talkin' 'Bout an Evolution, a Spinarak fell sick from Team Rocket's experiments.

In Hocus Pokémon, three Spinarak covered Misty with strings.

In the banned episode EP250, a Spinarak lived in the forest outside the Ice Path.

A Spinarak appeared in A Bite to Remember.

In Sweet Baby James, a Spinarak was being looked after by Nanny and Pop-Pop.

In A Full-Strength Battle Surprise!, two Spinarak fled from Team Flare as they were conducting an experiment.

In Lillie's Egg-xhilarating Challenge!, a Spinarak was playing in Lillie's garden. It reappeared in The Ol' Raise and Switch!.

A Spinarak appeared in a flashback in Lulled to La-La Land!.

A Spinarak appeared in a flashback in Tasting the Bitter with the Sweet!.

In The Power of Us, a Spinarak was available during the Pokémon Catch Race.

Four Spinarak appeared in Securing the Future!, with three under the ownership of different Trainers and the fourth being wild. All four joined the rest of Alola in showering Necrozma with light so it could return to its true form.

In Showdown on Poni Island!, Lillie and Snowy observed a Spinarak on Poni Island.

In The Battlefield of Truth and Love!, a Spinarak watched Bewear and Stufful's performance in their hot springs.

A Spinarak appeared in Thank You, Alola! The Journey Continues!, under the ownership of a Team Skull Grunt.

A Spinarak appeared in a flashback in Time After Time!.

Multiple Spinarak appeared in a fantasy in Trade, Borrow, and Steal!.

Pokédex entries


Giant Amazonian spiders hunt some surprising prey

You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4.0 International license.

Researchers have documented 15 rare and disturbing predator-prey interactions in the Amazon rainforest including keep-you-up-at-night images of a dinner plate-size tarantula dragging a young opossum across the forest floor.

Warning to arachnophobes and the faint of heart: This is the stuff of nightmares, so you might want to proceed with caution.

The photos are part of a new article in Amphibian & Reptile Conservation. Arthropods are invertebrate animals with segmented bodies and jointed appendages that include insects, arachnids (spiders, scorpions, mites, and ticks), and crustaceans.

A fishing spider (genus Thaumasia) preying on a tadpole in a pond. (Credit: Emanuele Biggi/Amphibian & Reptile Conservation).

The article details instances of arthropod predators—mostly large spiders along with a few centipedes and a giant water bug—preying on vertebrates such as frogs and tadpoles, lizards, snakes, and even a small opossum.

Spider predators

“This is an underappreciated source of mortality among vertebrates,” says Daniel Rabosky, an associate professor in the ecology and evolutionary biology department at the University of Michigan and an associate curator at the university’s Museum of Zoology. “A surprising amount of death of small vertebrates in the Amazon is likely due to arthropods such as big spiders and centipedes.”

Once or twice a year, Rabosky leads a team of researchers (faculty members, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates) and international collaborators on a month-long expedition to the Los Amigos Biological Station in the remote Madre de Dios region of southeastern Peru.

“We were pretty ecstatic and shocked, and we couldn’t really believe what we were seeing, we knew we were witnessing something pretty special, but we weren’t aware that it was the first observation until after the fact.”

A wandering spider (genus Ancylometes) in the lowland Amazon rainforest preying on a tree frog (Dendropsophus leali). (Credit: Emanuele Biggi/Amphibian & Reptile Conservation)

The study site, in the lowland Amazon rainforest near the Andes foothills, is in the heart of one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. The team’s main research focus is the ecology of reptiles and amphibians. But over the years, the scientists have witnessed and documented numerous interactions between arthropod predators and vertebrate prey.

“We kept recording these events, and at some point we realized that we had enough observations to put them together in a paper,” says Rabosky.

Rainforest buffet

Spiders are among the most diverse arthropod predators in the tropics, and previous reports of spider predation in the Amazon include prey from all major vertebrate taxonomic groups: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

But knowledge of these interactions remains limited, especially given the diversity of vertebrate prey and potential arthropod predators in species-rich tropical communities. The new paper includes observations from 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2017.

A tarantula (genus Pamphobeteus) preying on a mouse opossum (genus Marmosops). (Credit: Maggie Grundler/Amphibian & Reptile Conservation)

“These events offer a snapshot of the many connections that shape food webs, and they provide insights into an important source of vertebrate mortality that appears to be less common outside the tropics,” says the study’s first author, Rudolf von May, a postdoctoral researcher in Rabosky’s lab.

“Where we do this research there are about 85 species of amphibians—mostly frogs and toads—and about 90 species of reptiles,” von May says. “And considering that there are hundreds of invertebrates that potentially prey upon vertebrates, the number of possible interactions between species is huge, and we are highlighting that fact in this paper.”

In addition to the Los Amigos Biological Station, researchers made other observations at the Villa Carmen Biological Station, also in Peru’s Madre de Dios region, and at the Madre Selva Research Station in the Loreto region of northern Peru.

Hunting at night

Nearly all of the sightings were made at night, when the arthropod predators are most active. During their night surveys, team members walk slowly through the forest with flashlights and headlamps, in single file, scanning the forest and listening intently.

During one of those night surveys, doctoral candidate Michael Grundler and two other students “heard some scrabbling in the leaf litter.”

“We looked over and we saw a large tarantula on top of an opossum,” says Grundler, a coauthor of the paper. “The opossum had already been grasped by the tarantula and was still struggling weakly at that point, but after about 30 seconds it stopped kicking.”

The tarantula was the size of a dinner plate, and the young mouse opossum was about the size of a softball. Grundler’s sister Maggie pulled out her cell phone and shot photos and some video.

Later, an opossum expert at the American Museum of Natural History confirmed they had captured the first documentation of a large mygalomorph spider preying on an opossum. The infraorder Mygalomorphae is a group of mostly heavy-bodied, stout-legged spiders that includes tarantulas.

“We were pretty ecstatic and shocked, and we couldn’t really believe what we were seeing,” Michael Grundler says. “We knew we were witnessing something pretty special, but we weren’t aware that it was the first observation until after the fact.”

Most predatory arthropods rely on specialized body parts and venom to capture and paralyze vertebrate prey. These adaptations include modified jaws, enlarged beaks, and massive fangs. Some groups have evolved dozens of venom proteins that are injected during prey capture.

Arthropods attack

Other predator-prey interactions documented in the paper include:

  • Several examples of large spiders of the family Ctenidae preying on frogs and also a lizard. Most of the predation events documented in the paper involve spiders, and most of those were ctenids, which are commonly known as wandering spiders. Ctenid spiders are sit-and-wait predators that hunt at night and use specialized hairs on their legs to detect air vibrations and the direction of prey. Their principal eyes are responsible for object discrimination, and secondary eyes detect motion.
  • A large scolopendrid centipede consuming a live Catesby’s snail-eater snake, and another centipede eating a dead coral snake that it had decapitated. “Coral snakes are very dangerous and can kill humans,” says doctoral candidate and study coauthor Joanna Larson. “To see one taken down by an arthropod was very surprising. Those centipedes are terrifying animals, actually.”

In addition to predation events, the researchers also report on lethal parasite infections in lowland Amazonian frogs and commensal relationships between spiders and frogs. A commensal relationship is one in which one organism benefits and the other is not harmed.

“One of the coolest things about working in Peru is the sheer number of species that you encounter every day simply by walking in the forest,” says Larson, who studies the evolution of diet in frogs. “Every day you see something new and exciting.”

“One offshoot of the work that we’ve been doing is this collection of odd natural history events we’ve witnessed involving arthropod predators and vertebrates,” she says. “I have not reached the level of being grossed out by any of it yet. We’ll see what else Peru has to offer.”

Additional coauthors of the paper are from International League of Conservation Photographers the Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad Nacional de San Agustín, Peru the Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco the Museo de Biodiversidad del Perú John Carroll University the Museo de Biodiversidad del Perú the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru the University of California, Berkeley the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru and the University of Michigan.

Support for the research came from a fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to Daniel Rabosky, as well as the Amazon Conservation Association, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Rosemary Grant Award, the Edwin C. Hinsdale UMMZ Scholarship, and the University of Michigan.


Orb-Weaver Spider Identification

Orb-weavers are the brilliant architects of the spider world. When you see a beautiful web decorated with shining dew drops, you are looking at the unbelievable work of an orb weaver spider.

Orb-weavers are master spinners. Spider silk is strong, but perhaps the best way to think of it is in terms of toughness. While silk is technically stronger than steel but not as strong as Kevlar, it is on fact tougher than both. Spider silk&aposs combination of strength and flexibility makes it one of the world&aposs miracles of composition.

And the orb-web weavers take this material and make the most beautiful art with it𠅊rt that is first and foremost designed to be functional. When a prey insect, say a small grasshopper, falls into the web, it is quickly tangled up and attacked by the spider. Each web&aposs design is specially constructed to catch insects that spider can manage and let the little ones it doesn&apost care about slip through.

These amazing spiders often have bizarre shapes. They&aposre found nearly everywhere in the world.


Spiders 101

Spiders often appear in horror movies, haunted houses and, worst of all, inside our homes where they are usually met with shrieking and the bottom of a shoe. It's easy to understand why people cringe at the sight of a spider on the wall. The way they move is startling and unpredictable, their webs are sticky and their hunting methods can be rather gruesome. There are also many myths floating around about spiders (no, people don't regularly swallow spiders in their sleep!) that make this pest seem much scarier than it actually is. In reality, almost all types of spiders found in the United States pose no threats to people.

Despite the benevolent nature of most spiders, there are two species in the southern and western United States that can cause serious harm when accidentally disturbed - the black widow and brown recluse. Below is a guide to help you identify some of the most common types of spiders and the potential threat they can pose to your health.

Black Widow Spiders

  • Appearance: Black widows are black and shiny, with a telltale red hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen. Young black widow spiders appear orange and white, becoming darker and more black in color as they age.
  • Region: This spider species is found throughout United States, but is most common in the southern regions where the temperature is warmer.
  • Habitat: Black widow spiders tend to seek out dry and dark locations that are protected, such as underneath stones or decks, as well as in hollow tree stumps and in firewood piles. They can also be found in man-made structures such as sheds and barns. Black widow spiders spin their webs near ground level.
  • Threat: While male black widow spiders rarely bite, females are known to be aggressive and bite in defense, especially when guarding eggs. Symptoms of a black widow bite include fever, increased blood pressure, sweating and nausea. Pain from a bite typically reaches a maximum in 1-3 hours. Fatalities are unlikely, as long as proper medical treatment is sought in a timely manner.
  • Unique Facts: Black widow spiders are named after the popular belief that females eat their male counterparts after mating. However, this is a rare occurrence in the natural world.

Brown Recluse Spiders

  • Appearance: Brown recluse spiders are light to dark brown, with a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back.
  • Region: This species is found in the central Midwest U.S. from Ohio to Nebraska and southward through Texas and Georgia.
  • Habitat: Well known for their secretive or "reclusive" behavior, brown recluse spiders often live outdoors in debris and woodpiles. Indoors, they can be found under furniture, inside storage items and in dark recesses such as baseboards and window moldings. Closets, attics and crawlspaces are the most common hiding places of brown recluse spiders, as they provide warm, dry and dark environments.
  • Threat: Like the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider bites in defense. Bites are usually not felt at first but can produce a stinging sensation followed by intense pain. Restlessness, fever and difficulty sleeping are common symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite. In serious cases, a bite can lead to an open, ulcerating sore that requires medical treatment.
  • Unique Facts: Male brown recluse spiders wander farther from the nest than females and are therefore more likely to crawl into shoes or other attire. Additionally, while other spider species feed on small, flying insects, this species prefers small cockroaches and crickets.

House Spiders

  • Appearance: House spiders are often yellowish-brown in color with an elongated abdomen, although their color can be highly variable.
  • Region: Named after the fact that it is the spider species most commonly encountered indoors, house spiders are found worldwide and are common throughout the United States and Canada.
  • Habitat: While this species can be found under furniture and in closets, they are most commonly encountered in garages, sheds and barns, where catching prey is easier for them. Outside, they are often found spinning webs around windows and under eaves, especially near light sources that attract potential food sources.
  • Threat: House spiders are nuisance pests and pose relatively little threat to humans, but they may bite when threatened.
  • Unique Facts: A female house spider can lay more than 3,500 eggs in their lifetime.

Jumping Spiders

  • Appearance: Jumping spiders are compact in shape with short legs, causing them to sometimes be mistaken for black widow spiders. They are usually black in color and covered with dense hair or scales that are brightly colored.
  • Region: Jumping spiders are found throughout the United States.
  • Habitat: Jumping spiders build web retreats, which can be found both indoors and outdoors. These spiders frequently hunt inside structures around windows and doors because more insects are attracted to these areas and their vision is best in sunlit areas. Outside, jumping spiders are commonly seen running over tree bark, under stones and boards, and on bushes, fences, decks and the outside of buildings.
  • Threat: Jumping spiders may bite in defense, but their bite is not poisonous. In fact, this species is more likely to run from a human threat rather than attack.
  • Unique Facts: Unlike most spiders, jumping spiders are active during the daytime and seem to like sunshine. They have the best vision of all spiders and are able to detect movement up to 18" in distance. However, they can't see very well at night.

Long-bodied Cellar Spiders

  • Appearance: Cellar spiders are pale yellow to light brown in color with long, skinny legs and a small body.
  • Region: There are about 20 species of cellar spiders found throughout the United States and Canada.
  • Habitat: Cellar spiders are typically found in areas with high humidity and moisture, basements and crawlspaces. They can also be found in the corners of garages, sheds, barns and warehouses, on eaves, windows and ceilings, and inside closets, sink cabinets and bath-traps.
  • Threat: Cellar spiders are not known to bite and therefore pose no threat to humans.
  • Unique Facts: Cellar spiders are commonly referred to as "daddy-long-legs" because of their very long, thin legs.

Wolf Spiders

  • Appearance: Wolf spiders are usually dark brown with paler stripes or markings, and they have long, spiny legs. This species is often large and hairy, which can alarm some people.
  • Region: More than 100 species of wolf spiders are found throughout the United States and Canada.
  • Habitat: Wolf spiders can enter structures in search of prey. Once inside, they tend to stay at or near floor level, especially along walls and under furniture. Wolf spiders may be brought indoors with firewood. Outside, this species can be found under stones, landscape timbers, firewood, leaves and other debris. They often rest in such sheltered places during the day.
  • Threat: Wolf spiders can bite, but it's extremely rare unless they are provoked or handled.
  • Unique Facts: Unlike most spiders, wolf spiders don't hunt with webs. Instead, they actually chase down their prey using their fast running ability.

Dangerous or not, most people would prefer not to have any types of spiders in their homes. The best way to prevent spider infestations is to remove any possible harborage sites. Spiders are more likely to take refuge in dwellings during the colder months and will gravitate toward dark, undisturbed nooks and crannies. Therefore, homeowners should keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter-free, avoid leaving clothing and shoes on the floor and seal off any cracks or crevices around the home from different types of spiders. If you're dealing with or discover a serious spider infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional.

Tick Prevention Tips

Learn how to keep yourself and your family safe from tick bites before heading outdoors this summer.

West Nile Virus and EEE

While differing in many ways, extreme cases of these two mosquito-borne diseases can cause serious health consequences.

Unusual Places Bed Bugs Hide

From purses to stuffed animals, bed bugs can hide in some unusual places.


Watch the video: Spider With Three Super Powers. The Hunt. BBC Earth (October 2022).