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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some lynx spiders of various genders

The green lynx spiders (Peucetia viridans) have matured, and mating is occurring in the shrub-tops where these big colorful arachnids like to hang out. Here is an anthology of lantana-dwelling lynxes found on a recent sunny day. The top of the lantana is one of their prime hunting, breeding and nesting spots because the flowers attract so many insects, and the sun is bright for warming the egg sacs that will come in due time.

The top photo is a mature female spider who either is unmated or very recently mated (she is still skinny). In the second photo is a male spider, the same one shown in the third photo approaching a nearby female. It is said the males often meet their deaths at the chelicerae of the female although I haven't seen that happen. I also haven't actually seen them mate, I waited for what seemed like quite awhile for these two to get closer with no luck.

The evidence of mating is undeniable, as seen in the final photo of a glowing gravid female. Notice the webbing around the leaf and flowers above her. As time goes by the territory of a female becomes entangled with webbing and spent flowers, dried up leaves and other detritus that all forms an untidy if loosely connected lair. These spiders do then spin webs, but the web is not used for hunting. Lynx spiders wait camouflaged among the flowers, and pounce on insects that wander or alight close to them.

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