Friday, July 29

Spider alert! - but it is only a tiny one.

When I was picking blackcurrants a few days ago I noticed that I had a little passenger in the punnet.
As you can see as it sits on a blackcurrant, this is a tiny creature measuring between about 4mm and 7mm (0.15" - 0.3"). It's nothing to be scared of.        
Google tells me that my little captive is a green orb weaver spider or Araniella cucurbitina sometimes also called the green cucumber spider. 
We all know that spiders have eight legs but did you know that most spiders also have eight eyes? You would think that this would mean that they had good eyesight but in the case of web spinning spiders, like our little friend here, their eyesight is poor. It's eyes can probably only detect changes in light and it will rely on taste, smell, touch and vibration rather than sight. I guess its hairy legs have a part to play here.
The green orb weaver spider spins a small web between two leaves and then hangs underneath waiting for its small prey to become entrapped.
It doesn't hide away, like many spiders, and you would expect its almost fluorescent colour to give it away, however hanging upside down its green underside is well camouflaged amongst the leaves.
Just in case you are wondering the little spider was popped back on a blackcurrant bush to enjoy the rest of its day.


26 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info, Sue. great photos too. I bet this spider is one that not many people know, and being so small they probably never see it either.

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    1. I tend to come across them when picking soft fruit, Mark.

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  2. Serious arachnophobia here, but I can cope, just about, with the tiny ones. Such a vibrant green. I took a picture of one in a curled up leaf, how I spotted it I don't know at all. Thank you for all the info too!
    Trying to get back into reading and replying! Have missed blogging but sometimes things have to give a little.

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    1. It's amazing how tiny things often grasp our attention, Deborah.

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  3. Quite cute.. for a spider!

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    1. They are fascinating creatures, Jessica but I am glad they don't come super sized.

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  4. I don't mind spiders if I see them outdoors but I'm petrified if I see them in the house. I haven't come across one of these before.

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    1. Maybe you will spot one now, Jo

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  5. Very interesting. I think I saw one earlier this summer. At least it was also yellow and very small. It had caught a bumble bee which was much bigger.

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    1. That is a mammoth feat for such a tiny spider, Alain.

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  6. Great photos. Tiddlers I can handle, though I'd prefer not to!

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  7. Great photos! When I saw that first photo, it freaked me out a bit as I thought the purple fruits were the bottom of an eggplant, so you can imagine how large I thought the spider was :)

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    1. That would certainly be a spider to stay clear of, Margaret.

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  8. I do not like spiders, I'm afraid of them! But I appreciate your pictures !
    Happy weekend :)

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    1. This one definitely wouldb't hurt you, Ela

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  9. Great photos, Sue! I find spiders fascinating. We had huge hairy beasts on the coal hole door when I lived in Yorkshire as a teenager (those terrified me) and delicate silvery spiders with a bright red body that used to crawl on me during my pea-pulling holiday job (also Yorkshire). There was also a web/nest of baby spiders on my balcony one year; if I jolted the web, the babies would scatter outwards then gradually return to the central orb nest when the threat had passed. Endless fascination! Thanks for a great post!

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    1. They are fascinating creatures, Caro. Martyn once took a video of a spider spinning a web in slow motion and it was incredible.

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  10. What amazing pictures, the detail is brilliant. What an interesting little guy, so colourful, I haven't come across one of these.xxx

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    1. It is so tiny thar it is easily overlooked, Dina. Being on blackcurrant meant it stood out.

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  11. Spiders have eight eyes? I never really monitor them! The little green fellow is garden friend?

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    1. It is a friend Malar as it eats small insects.

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  12. What a cutie :-) What lens did you use for your excellent macro shots?

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    1. I just used the macro zoom feature on my Panasonic Lumix FZ72, Jayne then I cropped the image.

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