Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why Jumping Spiders Are Confusing

It seems every time I go outside to Jr.'s old playhouse these days there is yet another jumping spider on the roof. All very colourful and varied. It seems at first glance like there are a half dozen species out there. But looking harder and asking the BugGuide folks it seems they are all one and the same. These beasts change quite dramatically with each molt.

Yes each and everyone of these is apparently Hentzia, from that tiny yellow one at the top to the chunkier 'tweedy' looking specimen at the bottom. Not one of these is more than a quarter of an inch in length.

Not everything arachnid in the yard is Hentzia though. We have a juvenile Phiddipus.

And far bigger is this Argiope living amongst the Iris. This too is just growing up. A few days earlier there really wasnt much yellow to be seen. But then she shed her skin, thats it in the top left, and started to look like the classic black and yellow 'garden spider'. This is considerably more than a quarter of an inch already and going to get bigger still.

Spiders and flies the classic pairing. Here are 3 very different flies. The first isnt identified as yet and will be updated once I have more info. I have a feeling it may be  hoverfly, but chances are I'm wrong.

UPDATE: I'm right for once its a Syrphid hoverfly, Toxomerus marginatus 

This second is a small robber fly of the genus Diogmites also called 'hanging thieves'. Most of the robbers are large and ugly but this is rather striking with its golden colouring and those shiny green eyes. These are hunters, taking other flies in flight

The last is a bee-fly of the genus Bombyliidae

Finally flying is the Redwing Blackbird showing off its yellow and scarlet epaulettes. These nest all around the pond in the reeds and cattails'

Meanwhile it is still hotter than hell due to run over 100f tomorrow, Saturday. I just hope the temperatures drop a little before we go on vacation in a couple of weeks. It will be less humid in the mountains but its currently almost as warm up there as it is down here.

No comments:

Post a Comment