Fearsome little tunnel spider

NATURAL WORLD

PAUL GAY
Last updated 07:58 10/01/2014
Spider
 

Relevant offers

In the South

Little fighter Riley Brown, born with Zellweger syndrome, beats the odds to reach first birthday Southern metal pioneers Hatred and Grief combine for reunion gig Jody Direen nominated for three Australian CMC awards Review: Night with Nigella a purr-fectly lovely plateful Music executive Chris Caddick to judge Southland Entertainment Awards Mike Chunn to judge Southland Entertainment Awards Highlands Festival of Speed aerobatic flight up for grabs Judith Durham's first NZ tour in 25 years $1000 prize offered for Southland album of the year Q&A: A Chocwork Orange's John Pfeifer

Close up this is a fearsome-looking spider.

Its one of a several species that are listed under the general name tunnel web spiders. These spiders are ground dwellers and construct silk-lined tunnels in which they hide during the day. Often the tunnels can be found among rocks or logs.

Extending from the tunnels of most species there is a sheet of silken strands. When an insect or small creature such as a slater or millipede moves across the web the spider is alerted and rushes out to capture the victim. A bite then paralyses the prey which is then taken into the tunnel and devoured.

It is descriptive to say that tunnel web spiders attack their victims. As can be seen in this photograph, they have forward seeking, hunting eyes and two large parallel fangs . Often, they will rear up as they approach their prey and then strike downwards for the kill.

Here a pencil has been used to mimic an insect . The spider attacked quickly and its powerful bite could be felt as it gnawed at the pencil wood.

Ad Feedback

- The Southland Times

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content