Sunday, April 01, 2007

Report from the Kitchen Floor

It's Circus of the Spineless time again, the blog carnival of all things invertebrate. It's up at Burning Silo. The theme is discovery. After you finish looking at my recent spineless visitors, "discovered" on the kitchen floor, head on over there for reports on the spineless from around the world.


I think the burying beetle was the most interesting critter to appear on the kitchen floor, but recently there have been others.

I don't know what kind of moth this is--though it is one I've seen (or ones very like it) many times before. The strange thing about this one is that it was lying still on the kitchen floor, looking dead, but apparently in some kind of stupour. The floor is cold, so that may have been it. I took it outside to photograph it (and because the kitchen was no place for it). It stayed right where I left it for several days. I nudged it occasionally and it always responded, still alive. After a while it vanished--whether of its own accord, or snapped up by a bird I don't know.


This spider is a frequent visitor, and probably a basement resident. It was perfectly alert, which is why I photgraphed it on the kitchen floor instead of moving it out first. I don't know what this one is either--should try to look it up at the Nearctic Spider Database. Update: Haven't been able to find anything except Dolomedes triton that fits, as suggested by the comments to this post--if this is right, odd that a fishing spider would be in the house.


It isn't So if it's Dolomedes triton then it is one of the Spider WebWatch spiders, but a couple of my favourites are among the nine spider ambassadors. If you watch spiders, consider joining the WebWatch. Click the link to find out more.

If you watch all kinds of things, and you're a blogger who hasn't yet heard about Blogger Bioblitz, click this link to The Voltage Gate and get involved.

Thanks to Jennifer at Invasive Species Weblog and Nuthatch at Bootstrap Analysis for the Blogger Bioblitz button!

8 comments:

John said...

That's an interesting spider. I do not think I have seen one like it before.

burning silo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
burning silo said...

Pamela - I'd actually have to say that your spider looks a heck of a lot like a Dolomedes triton, although it's kind of odd that it would be found in the house. Here's one in this photo and it looks rather similar.
http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/arachnids_cohen_weiner/Pics/d-triton/d-triton-g-fixed.jpg
They have a very distinctive line around the body as in the above photo. Take a look at all of the different photos of D. triton from Spider WebWatch
http://www.spiderwebwatch.org/spiders/Dolomedes_triton
They aren't small but not all that large either. I'd say that counting legs, the adults would be about the size of a loonie or perhaps a bit larger. A younger spider or a male could be smaller. Maybe David Shorthouse would be able to say for sure. Btw, I wouldn't necessarily count on being able to see the six spots (from which the species gets its name as they aren't always that visible).

Pamela Martin said...

John: I say that this is a familiar spider to me, but that'sby general size and shape--I think the white line on it is new to me--as you say, interesting.

Bev, thanks for the link and the comment. When I saw the spider I thought it might be one of the WebWatch spiders, indeed the spider you suggest. But then on checking the site again, decided it probably wasn't. Now I don't know. Certazinly the most striking field mark is that light-coloured border. The spider wasn't as big as you describe, closer to the size of a quarter with legs included. And I do think its a spider that lives here, though as I say above, I don't remember seeing that bright marking before. On the other hand, the legs of my spider don't look to me like the right style for the Dolomedes triton, going by the pictures.

I agree that it would be strange to find a fishing spider in the kitchen, though it wouldn't be the first time I've found something strange there. I guess the first thing to do is to see if I can find out if there are other spiders with markings like this one has, and who they are.

David Shorthouse said...

Looks an awful lot like a male D. triton to me!

Pamela Martin said...

David: Thanks for taking a look--I guess maybe it is. I will amend the post, and watch for this spider carefully in the future--it certainly has the same general size and shape of a spider that I see in the house with some frequency--but that may be a coincidence--it really doesn't seem like the right habitat for it.

Anonymous said...

I have been studying spiders for awhile now. That is definitely a Raft Spider. One of my favorites.

Check it out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raft_spider

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