Monday, August 26, 2013

Golden Silk Orb Weaver, Nephila sp.

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There are over 150 species of golden silk orb-weavers world wide. I found one that has a unique visual feature on the ventral view.

If you look carefully, there appear a human-like face and a rib-cage.

This spider was found among tall grass and bushes in the rain forest, Pahang, Malaysia, at 1000 m above sea level.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Neoscona Punctigera (Ghost spider)

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Ghost spider

The Neoscona punctigera has a nickname, ghost spider. As the name suggests, it is active during the night hunting and rest during the day. At night, it constructs spiraling web to trap prey. Unlike other spider which leave the web as it is, the ghost spider takes down the web during the day. It does so by eating the web and will be recycled. They are mostly found resting on leaves, branches, or rocks.

It is also called "monkey spider" by some people. The name is a result of its appearance when it is resting (dorsal view: see photograph)

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The abdomen looks like there are eyes there. When at rest, the legs are folded such that it looks like a smiling monkey with hands touching the head (imagine the abdomen is the monkey head).

These photographs were taken in Selangor, Malaysia.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Asarkina ericetorum (Fabricius, 1781)

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The size of the above specimen is about 10 mm in length, has orange-yellow abdomen with four narrow black bands, orange scutellum, black metallic thorax, large maroon compound eyes, metallic-blue frontal vitta, has golden-orange hairs on the thorax, abdomen, scutellum, legs and the face.

The flight pattern is quite interesting. It has the capability to hover at one spot during flight. It also hovers from spot to spot before resting on a leaf or flower. Due to the shape and colour, it is often mistaken as wasp by some people.

It is a beneficial insect where its larvae prey on aphids, and adults pollinate flowers. The adult hoverfly feeds on dew or nectar.


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