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Posts Tagged ‘Long-jawed Orb Weaver spider’

I have not yet seen any large spiders this spring, but I have run across a few long-jawed spiders. The bodies of long-jawed orb weaver spiders of the Tetragnathidae family tend to be thin and they have extremely long legs of varying lengths. Most often I find them on vegetation overhanging the water, which in this case was a small pond at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge.

long-jawed spider

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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When you think of a spider, what kind of body do you imagine? I realize that most people don’t even want to think about spiders—they find them to be creepy and frightening.  For some of us, though, spiders are beautiful creatures with some amazing features.

Still, I don’t usually think of a spider as having a long, thin body, and most don’t. Last week I encountered one that had such a body, which I think is a kind of long-jawed spider from the  Tetragnathidae family. In addition to the elongated bodies, these spiders have legs of varying lengths, with the front pair appearing to be really long.

Spiders apparently come in all sizes and shapes. Who knows what new ones I’ll see in the coming months?

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This long-jawed spider is not really camouflaged, of course, but it positioned itself in such an artistic way that its elongated body and legs seem to be an extension of the plant, especially from a distance. The plant was growing at the edge of a small pond at my local marsh and the brown background color is the water of the pond.

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Click on the image to get a higher resolution view of it.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I seem to be seeing spiders everywhere recently, so I thought I’d feature photos of three of them to represent the wide diversity of the population that I have observed.

The first one was very small and appeared to be hiding at the bottom of this leaf, waiting for its prey to come along. It did not appear to have made a web.

The second one had a web suspended over the water and is, I believe, a kind of long-jawed orb weaver of the Tetragnathidae family. It has awfully long legs compared to most other spiders. I usually see them making webs late in the day as the sun is beginning to go down.

The final one is a kind of spider that I see pretty regularly, though I don’t know what kind it is. It appears to have captured some prey, perhaps a grasshopper.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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With my macro lens on my camera on Monday, I was happily scouring every plant and flower for insects to photograph when I came upon this unusual-looking spider. Instead of having a rounded body like most spiders, it had a really elongated body and what appeared to be legs of varying lengths.

I have purposely attached a clickable higher resolution image to give you a better look at the details of this strange spider. For example, I think I can see at least two rows of tiny eyes in the middle of the photo.

Last year, I photographed a similar spider and I think that it is probably a kind of Long-jawed Orbweaver, though I can’t make a more definite identification.

What mental image do you have when you think of a spider? Perhaps this photo will help you broaden your perspective about what a spider might look like.

long_spider_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Yesterday when I was walking the marsh, I glanced down and saw a spider web shining a foot or so above the surface of the brown, muddy water. There was a long, skinny insect on the web and my first thought was that this was a spider’s prey, but no spider was visible. I took some photos and did some internet research and was shocked to learn that strange insect is a spider, probably a Long-jawed Orb Weaver spider of the Family Tetragnathidae. Check out Bugguide if you want to learn more about this unusual-looking spider and click on the image to see more details.

Long-jawed Orb Weaver spider

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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