Thursday, March 17, 2016

Unusual Yellow Scorpion-Tailed Spider

17th March 2016

SCORPION-TAILED SPIDER (Arachnura higginsi)

This tiny vibrant yellow female Scorpion-tailed Spider has had me working very hard to try and get a half-decent photo of it over the last few weeks.  Brendon first noticed these bright yellow critters on a spiky shrub at our patch at night, we then identified them as the unusual looking scorpion like spider. 

This one tree has around 5 female spiders in webs on it at the moment, mostly located higher than my head height, so combined with trying to access the spiky bush, avoiding the wasp nests and the wind blowing around these weightless creatures, it has proved very frustrating to get a good photo for the blog and our records.  (I have had a couple of attempts at photographing them and these are the best pics so far - I will update the post should I ever manage to get clear ones!)

The Scorpion-tailed Spider is an orb-weaver spider and the female is around 1.5cm long, while the male is apparently so minute it can't even be noticed!  The female is often bright yellow, as are the ones at our place and she sits in the centre of the orb web at all times.  She lays eggs which are hung in "sacs" in string style down the centre of the web, she then sits below the last sac once this has been completed.   

My observation is that most of the time the spider is fairly sedentary, and covers its face with its legs which are right at the front of the body, creating havoc with trying to get a photo of it's eyes!  It either has the long tail-like abdomen out straight, or,when tending to the web, curls it up giving it a scorpion like appearance.  The end of the 'tail' has has 3-4 spikes on a darker tip.  

They are fascinating looking spiders and the colours are so bright, I can't believe we haven't noticed them before.

J & B

SCORPION-TAILED SPIDER (Arachnura higginsi)

Underside of the SCORPION-TAILED SPIDER (Arachnura higginsi)

Not the best photo, but it shows the egg sacks in a "string" of the SCORPION-TAILED SPIDER (Arachnura higginsi)

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