The spider in the above photo had found what it thought was a safe and secure hideout, in a tarp that covers the winch at the Take Off in Catch the Wind.
Spiders can be identified as to family, and sometimes to genus, by the arrangement of their multiple eyes, that is, where the eyes sit on their head (most spiders have eight eyes).
The above spider is definitely a wolf spider (Lycosidae) but I wasn’t able to go any further in naming it as to species. It may be a Carolina Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis). If you know for sure what species this spider is, please let me know.
While inspecting the dogbane out in front of the Lemur House for interesting insects that might have happened along, a small jumping spider ran out in front of me on one of the leaves.
Jumping spiders are easily recognized as jumping spiders by their small size and distinctive shape. They look a bit like tiny bull dogs with their big heads (cephalothorax – head and thorax combined), large “muscular” front legs and small hindquarters.
Another thing that makes jumping spiders more obvious to the casual observer is the fact that they are very animated and flexible. They seem articulated, bending at the joint (pedicel) between the cephalothorax and the abdomen.
Jumping spiders seem fearless, hopping from leaf to leaf, fence post to shrub, even walking along a curious naturalists arm with little apprehension (on the spider’s part, at least). They are typically very colorful, many showing brilliant iridescence. They’re worth a close look, you may be surprised at how beautiful they can be.
While at the dogbane patch I was also able to spot several Dogbane Leaf Beetles (Chrysochus auratus).
Two days ago, Emmett, one of the “Floor to Canopy” Summer Campers here at the Museum picked up a small moth caterpillar. I’d seen this caterpillar before but couldn’t remember its name. A quick look through “Caterpillars of Eastern North America” and I was reminded that it was a Variable Oakleaf Caterpillar (Lochmaeus manteo).
Good spot Emmett.