Up Close with a Bird Dung Crab Spider

26 November 2011
We’ve seen several variants of bird dung spiders before. They come in various colours (just like dung) and in very odd shapes (just like dung). A night shoot at Chestnut Avenue allowed us to find a crab spider masquerading as a piece of bird dung, and it had an oddly human-like face.

Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.) - DSC_7587#1 Top view of the female Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.). Very wet and reflective, and some said the top looked like some sticky peanut snack…

Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.) - DSC_7615#2 Face view. It is in it’s closed up position, and will remain motionless even if you touch it.

Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.) - DSC_7634#3 Close up on the face. Ok… it wasn’t really that motionless

Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.) - DSC_7635#4 Normal close up shot of the face

Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.) - DSC_7635#5 3D rocking animation of the face

Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.) - DSC_7674#6 Yet another face view, but at a slightly lower angle

Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.) - DSC_7713#7 After leaving it alone for a while, it decided to ditch it’s shitty disguise, stand up and move around, possibly to hunt

Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.) - DSC_7733#8 It did this whenever Melvyn moved his camera away

Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.) - DSC_7732#9 Animation of what happened. Likely to be a threat display to warn incoming predators. But sometimes, it may do this to release some chemical to lure its prey.

Bird Dung Crab Spider (Phrynarachne sp.) - DSC_7745#10 Became a walking piece of dung

Just for reference, here are some of the past dung spiders that I had shot before.

Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) - DSC_4113#11 This was shot early in the morning. The bird dung spider was busy dismantling it’s web to look like shit for the rest of the day. When night falls, it would weave it’s dangling web again. Details posted here: The Walking, Drooling Bird Dung.

Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) - DSC_4188#11b How the bird dung spider chews

Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) - DSC_1877#12 Comes in bright yellow. It is even more striking when resting on a young red leaf. Details posted here: A Beautiful Piece of Shit.

Bird Dung Spider (Cyrtarachne sp.) - DSC_7952#13 One of the more common bird dung spiders. This animation shows how the pattern on it’s abdomen changes. Details posted here: What’s called a Spider and a Scorpion, but is actually neither?.

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_5970b#14 A very small one, also likely to be a bird dung crab spider, guarding her egg sac. Details posted here: Ubin’s Scorpions and Many Other Critters

Bird Dung Orb Weaver (Pasilobus sp.) - DSC_0886#15 A very dark piece of dung. Details posted here: The Huntsman Spider’s Babies

A rather short night shoot, with most of the time dedicated to a dung lookalike. But there were some other finds as well…

Wasp (Apocrita) - DSC_7553#16 Sleeping wasp with an incredibly thin waist. Envy of all girls…

Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) - DSC_7574#17 Found quite a few of these red assassin bugs on tree trunks

Planthopper (Fulgoromorpha) - DSC_7784#18 Planthopper? Very brightly coloured.

The complete album can be viewed here.
1 Comment
  1. Reply

    Federick Ho

    27 December 2011

    Lovely high standard of shots as usual.
    I Like the animations very much.



Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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