Monday, February 18, 2013

Big eyes at Cape Tribulation

A couple of snaps from Cape Tribulation this week, featuring a couple of invertebrates with very impressive eyes.

A small Monkey Grasshopper (Biroella sp.). The large red compound eyes combined with the black pseudopupils give these grasshoppers a charasmatic appearance.

A Net-casting Spider (Deinopis subrufa) in the latter stages of producing an egg sac. The spider was continually turning the egg sac with her legs whilst adding silk in a dabbing motion with her spinnerets. Nest-casting Spiders are visual hunters. Two of their eyes are huge allowing them to accurately strike their prey with their net.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Another impressive catch

We found this amazing scene in the foliage beside our driveway. A small Ornate crab spider (Poecilothomisus speciosus) had captured an adult male Jungle huntsman (Heteropoda jugulans). Crab spiders are renowned for capturing prey larger than themselves, but taking down a predator of this size is very impressive. Even more remarkable was that the crab spider was operating on 5 legs - it had lost three some time prior on its right side.