Spiders: Bizarre And... Beautiful???

Perhaps I have a hard sell here when it comes to some people, but although some are indeed ugly and even poisonous, there are many types of spiders that when viewed close-up, have beautiful color patterns and fascinating habits, and are even somewhat cute looking, with prominent eyes. There actually are various different families of them; two of my favorites are the Salticidae (Jumping spiders) and Araneidae (Orb weavers). The Jumping spiders are mostly small, perky creatures that do not spin webs but rather jump and run about actively seeking their insect prey. Here are a few examples:

    

            

Here is a video clip of a (domesticated?) example of the species Phidippus audax that is actively moving about:



The orb weavers (Araneidae) are another fascinating group that can often be found outdoors in gardens; some like the Argiope can grow to a surprisingly large size. They spin amazingly constructed, intricate webs within which they wait for small insect prey to be trapped. Here are some examples:

   

         
Gasteracantha

  
Argiope
crotus crotus
51-55, M
2 Responses Dec 10, 2012

Cool!..hmmm I'm going to add a similar story, later when I have more time.

Look forward to reading it... I seem to have an odd fascination with far-out creatures like this.

Not a fan of spiders after being bit by a "brown recluse spider". Actually, I have other family members that have also been felt their bite. It makes months to recover from the wounds they cause. I have found out that applying finely ground carbon (charcoal) to the bite will reduce its affect and taking an Antihistamine as soon as possible, followed by a ice pack will help until you get to the ER.

I've heard of those, sorry to hear about that... but actually the types of spiders that are harmful are very few in number compared to the many thousands of harmless species... and in general, they are actually useful to us in helping to control the insect population.

You are right, I understand how one can be drawn to these ugly creatures, I found when training in the desert areas of NV and Calif. that tarantulas were fairly harmless unless you stepped on them or laid down on them. It was amazing to watch these big ugly spiders jump. Never realized they could jump so high, sure gets you attention. We use to throw empty cans of C-rations at them, just to see them jump.

That's interesting that you encountered them in their natural habitat... I think some people actually keep tarantulas as weird exotic pets, but they have stinging hairs and can give painful bites, so I find the truly harmless species, like the ones I've shown above, to be much more appealing.