It's finally ! Here's a plump harvie sitting on a leaf. Like scorpions and mites, these arachnids are not spiders but in their own group, Opiliones. They don't make silk or have venom.

We called these "daddy-long-legs" where I grew up, which is a nickname also applied to cellar spiders and crane flies. They are also called harvestmen. Some arachnologists I follow call them harvestpeople. I am calling them "harvies" for short.

🐘

day 2: a lovely spotted orbweaver, Neoscona crucifera, found in Trinity-Bellwoods Park in Toronto. She was nested in a thistle next to an impressive web. These spiders are widespread throughout North America but I've only found a few here; more southerly perhaps?

They aren't the showiest spiders, but this photo shows how warm sun makes their golden-brown colour pop.

🐘

Show thread

, day 3: Zygiella! A.k.a. "missing sector orbweaver" for their distinctive webs. They have yellowish bodies and abdomens with a silvery or cream-coloured "leaf" marking on top and a "blush" of red (sometimes vivid, sometimes almost completely desaturated) around the sides. 🐘

Show thread

day 4: the tiniest little white crab spider on the City Hall green roof, with even tinier prey! 🐘

Show thread

day 5: Psaturday pseudoscorpions from under a rock in the garden. Family Neobisiidae perhaps?

Pseudoscorpions are one of the lesser known arachnid orders. These tiny creatures top out at ~8mm not counting claws; these were maybe ~1mm. They live everywhere from the Arctic to the tropics, but are so tiny and their habitats (under rocks, bark, etc.) so cryptic they are rarely seen. 🐘

Show thread

day 6: Psunday pseudoscorpion!!! This one was very round, gravid [pregnant with eggs], maybe? They are said to carry their eggs under their abdomen but I've never been lucky enough to see it myself. 🐘

Show thread
Follow

day 7 (honestly amazed at how long I've kept this up): Larinioides spiderling ballooning from a park bench. We (humans) have only recently figured out that it was possible for spiders to use electrostatic repulsion to lift off into the air - and then experimentally verify it. 🐘

day 8: a Larinioides' spiky leg, and her clawed feet. (The white thing is a silken sac, probably for sleep or molting or whatever, from a previous inhabitant of the railing.) 🐘

Show thread

day 9: Larinioides orbweavers mating! Upon maturing the males leave their webs and go roaming for females to court. Courtship involves web-plucking and a lot of waiting. 🐘

Show thread

I see I've done Larinioides for the past 3 days. I regret nothing

Show thread

day 10: how sad, it is and all I have is a photo of this ant. This perfectly normal ant with six legs and two antennae. Just don't look too closely... 🐘

Show thread

day 12: a sheet-web weaver, family Linyphiidae. These spiders can be very small and their finely woven webs are often low down, suspended in long grass or hollows in trees. 🐘

Show thread

day 13: a snout mite (family Bdellidae) found under a fallen piece of willow bark. I liked the contrast between the bluish lichen and the red-orange mite glowing in the afternoon sun.

Show thread

day 14: nothing says "autumn" like harvies (opilionids) in goldenrod! Second pic is the area I found it, the little stretch of shore between the Boulevard Club and the Legion.

Show thread

day 15: "Back off--don't come a step closer--or--I'll--run away!!" A running crab spider (family Philodromidae) squares up on a Queen Anne's Lace plant.

Show thread

day 17: "What's this?" A Larinioides orbweaver examines my finger. When bored I will poke at them or put my finger in their way, and in all my years of doing this, not a single one has bitten me. They either run away, or quickly figure out the finger is not food and lose interest.

Show thread

day 18: "Okay little buddy, you killed it, it's dead." Luring out a fierce little hacklemesh weaver with a feather taped to a sonic toothbrush. Try it at home! (Linking bc it's a video.) twitter.com/neville_park/statu

Show thread

day 19: love at the No Frills. After grocery shopping I spotted these courting Larinioides. Then I ended up explaining spider mating in a bit too much detail to some random dude. Then he offered me a chili pepper from an old margarine tub. , baby.

Show thread

day 20: the best thing I saw on tonight's walk was two red velvet mites sharing an aphid, "Lady and the Tramp"-style.

Show thread

day 21: more of the hacklemesh weavers that live in the Queen & Dufferin underpass. They can be found by looking for their distinctive fuzzy webbing. I also saw signs of New Democrats, of which there's a very healthy local population.

Show thread

day 22: little zebra jumping spider looks meditative as she eats an aphid and idly scratches herself. Link bc video! twitter.com/neville_park/statu

Show thread

Belated day 23: leetle spider, hacklemesh weaver I think, back-combing silk. Found that night when someone's fucking car alarm kept going off and I wandered the neighbourhood at like 3 A.M. to find the car and leave an angry note.

Video: twitter.com/neville_park/statu

Show thread

day 24: this is from about a month ago, at the height of Zygiella mating season. Males hang at the periphery of females' webs, patiently plucking out courtship songs. Returning home one night, I saw one single-minded suitor had fallen prey to a young male yellow sac spider! Look at his face in the last pic, like, "...What??"

Show thread

day 25: I don't think I've done a pirate spider so far! Spiders in this family, Mimetidae, specialize in eating other spiders, plucking at webs to lure out the occupants. I think this one is probably Mimetus puritanus. Only a few mm long in body length, found under a milkweed leaf in the garden.

Show thread

day 26: try looking inside a Queen Anne's Lace, you never know what you'll find! Like this cute little bold jumping spider in its silken shelter.

Show thread
Show more
Sign in to participate in the conversation
social.coop

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!