Beautiful Spiders You’ll Have to See to Believe

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Spiders often get a bad reputation as being some of the most frightening creatures on the planet. These facts about some stunning arachnids will blow your mind and help you to see things in a whole new light.

Thwaitesia argentiopunctata

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The Thwaitesia argentiopunctata is a species of spider known as the sequined spider or the mirror spider. Found in Australia, the males are usually around three millimeters, and females are usually about four millimeters. The standout trait with this spider is the beautiful green, cream, yellow and red tones it has on its abdomen. You can understand where they get their name from, because their scales end up looking like pieces of a mirror glued to their back. Made up of reflective guanine, these scales add an unusually spectacular color to the spiders’ appearance. An extra fun fact is that these spiders can actually change size depending on how threatened they feel.

Argiope bruennichi

waspspider

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Referred to as the wasp spider, these creatures actually look just like wasps with their yellow, black and white stripes. Native to the Mediterranean, they’re now found in central Europe, Northern Europe, North Africa, the Azores archipelago, and North America, as well as parts of Asia. Like all orb-weavers, this spider is not poisonous for humans. The spider weaves its web between grass at a height of 20-30 centimeters, and the orb is used to trap prey. The spider then wraps its prey in silk and delivers a venomous bite that paralyzes the prey. This spider is easily identified by the zigzag of white silk in its webs. There is a big difference between the males and females. Females are roughly 18 millimeters, head and body included, and males are less than 5 millimeters. The female can often be seen hanging upside-down in the middle of her web throughout summertime, as well as in the fall. The male who is considerably smaller, is only active in July and like many other male spiders, has to be careful after mating, to be sure he does not end up as food for the female.

Maratus splendens

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These jumping spiders are usually referred to as peacock spiders because of the males’ colorful patterns on the upper surface of the abdomen. These abdomen patterns are often enhanced during courtship, as the male displays lateral flaps or bristles. There is a distinction between the males and females due to the females’ lack of bright colors—females tend to be brown whereas males are iridescent red, green, and blue. Not unlike the peacock, the males display a complex and beautiful courtship dance with vibratory signals to attract a mate. These small spiders have a body length which is around 4–5 millimeters and are found near Sydney, Australia. The splendens are not the only species of jumping spider. Maratus volens, which are found in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, and Tasmania, are also very colorful. Their enlarged central eyes are equipped with telephoto lenses, and their ability to see color is far superior to a human’s—which makes the display even more sensational than you could imagine.

Thomisus

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There are many kinds of crab spiders, but those falling under the Thomisus genus are considered to be special. The Thomisus species live on flowers and prey on the pollinating insects that come by. Some can even change their body color to camouflage themselves, matching the flower they’re sitting on in order to lure prey. Their bodies actually reflect ultraviolet light, which makes their resident flower appear brighter and more appealing to insects. Their mimicking colors come in white, yellow, purple and brown varieties, each of which changes to resemble different flowers. Their color-changing process happens over two days. While their color patterns are specific to species, their colors can vary. Not all species have this color changing ability—some can be found on bark or among grass seeds and will usually appear as a basic brown. They range in size from 3-11 millimeters. They are sedentary spiders and are usually only noticed if the onlooker catches them in a strange position; most of the time it’s upside-down and with an insect in its grips.  Although they can be found almost anywhere on earth, most species occur in the tropics and the warmer regions.

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