Search

Content tagged with "arachnid"

magnified chigger

Chiggers

Trombicula alfreddugesi and other Trombicula spp.
The worst thing about Missouri summers is chiggers. They are nearly invisible but leave itchy red welts. Avoid their habitat areas, especially after noon.

Read more

image of a Harvester, Front View

Daddy Longlegs (Harvestman; Harvester)

Daddy longlegs, or harvestmen, are familiar Missouri animals. They are not spiders, but opilionids. Unlike spiders, they have a fused body form and lack silk and venom glands.

Read more

image of a Harvester, Top View

Daddy Longlegs (Harvestman; Harvester) Closeup

We can easily see differences between harvestmen and spiders. The body is a simple oval, and it’s usually hard to tell where the “head” ends and the segmented “abdomen” begins. They look like all one piece.

Read more

image of a Harvester, Front View

Daddy Longlegs (Harvestmen)

About 6,500 species have been named so far, worldwide.
Daddy longlegs, or harvestmen, are familiar Missouri animals. They are not spiders, but opilionids. Unlike spiders, they have a fused body form and lack silk and venom glands.

Read more

Photo of duckweed and a spotted fishing spider on the water surface

Duckweed and Spotted Fishing Spider

Fishing spiders and duckweeds both live on the surface of water. A waxy coating on the top of duckweed fronds helps them shed water and stay afloat. Fishing spiders are able to run across the surface of water much like water striders and will dive for prey, including small tadpoles or aquatic insects. The spider encases its body in an air bubble in order to submerge itself, often for several minutes.

Read more

filmy dome spider

Filmy Dome Spider

Prolinyphia marginata
The filmy dome spider is one of the most abundant woodland spiders in Missouri. Although the spider is tiny, the snare web, which looks like an upside-down silk bowl, is conspicuous throughout the year.

Read more

Photo of a swift crab spider, female.

Foliage Flower Spiders

Mecaphesa spp. and Misumessus spp.
The more obvious differences between foliage crab spiders and other flower crab spiders is that these generally are smaller, and their carapaces, abdomens, and legs are spiny.

Read more

Frozen Ticks and Chiggers?

After Missouri experienced some bitter cold temperatures during the first 10 days of the new year, I received questions regarding the effects of the low temperatures on this year’s populations of ticks, chiggers, armadillos and insects.

Read more

Photo of a funnel web spider

Funnel Web Spider

Compared to their sheetlike webs, funnel web spiders, themselves, are not commonly seen. To glimpse one, tap gently with a twig on the surface of the web. The spider may rush out of her tunnel, hoping for a meal. She'll quickly realize she's been duped and rush back into hiding.

Read more

Photo of funnel web spider poised in funnel of her web

Funnel Web Spider In Mouth of Web

These spiders build sheetlike webs and are common in lawns. Dew makes their webs sparkle. The spider hides in the hole of the funnel and will dash out to capture insects that venture onto the silken platform. She must decide quickly whether a vibration on the web is a food item, a fallen leaf, or something dangerous to be hidden from.

Read more