It's finally #Arachtober! 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.
#Arachtober 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.
#Arachtober, 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. #DailySpiderPic 🐘
#Arachtober 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. 🐘
#Arachtober 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. 🐘
#Arachtober 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. #DailySpiderPic 🐘
#Arachtober 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.
#Arachtober 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.
#Arachtober 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. #DailySpiderPic
#Arachtober 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.) https://twitter.com/neville_park/status/1185211176017448961
#Arachtober day 20: the best thing I saw on tonight's walk was two red velvet mites sharing an aphid, "Lady and the Tramp"-style.
#Arachtober day 22: little zebra jumping spider looks meditative as she eats an aphid and idly scratches herself. Link bc video! https://twitter.com/neville_park/status/1186750101655560194
Belated #Arachtober 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.
#Arachtober 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??"
#Arachtober 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. #DailySpiderPic
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