Arthropods other than insects

A page started October 2020, for non-insect arthropods, and so far growing very slowly.

 

Please don't take my IDs as authoritative. These pages of nature photos represent one person's voyage of discovery, not the studies of a trained expert. If you see something I've misidentified, please contact me via my "Contact" page, which is tabbed at the top.

 


Arachnida: Spiders and their Allies

 

Salticidae: Red-Backed Jumping Spider (Phidippus johnsoni)

 

Theridiidae: Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus)

As I pulled an empty propane tank out from under my gas grill, I saw a spider about three inches from my hand. I took a few pictures, went online, and realized I'd had a close encounter with a black widow. I'd known about the all-black ones, with red hourglasses on their bellies, all my life. I hadn't known that immature black widows look very different from the adult females. Next time I reach under my grill, I'll be more careful.

 

Late one evening, about a month later, I saw a spider on the wall of my house and grabbed my camera. The picture is grainy because of the low light. This time it was a male (they're much smaller than the females), which may have been searching for a mate.  The black knobs at the front of the male are called pedipalps.

 

The Theridiidae are also known as the tangle-web spiders. That name doesn't adequately describe their range of spiderwebs but if you do find one that looks disorganized, be on the alert for black widows.

 

Thomisidae (?): Crab Spiders

Some spiders in families other than Thomisidae are referred to crab spiders, hence the question mark above. So far, both of my photos of crab spiders were inadvertent: I took a picture of something else and the spider happened to be there. Look in the lower right corner of my June 2020 picture for a a green, brown, and off-white crab spider (Mecaphesa). In my August 2021 picture of a marine blue butterfly, a white crab spider is enjoying its meal (a tiny bee or wasp) as the butterfly looks on. That spider might be Misumena vatia.


Malacostraca

 

Crayfish

Crayfish, crawfish, crawdad, New Mexico
Albuquerque, July 2021

My one photo of a crayfish thus far tells a story. After a bird found the crayfish, dead or alive, it took it to a concrete footbridge over an irrigation canal and ate the innards. It also pooped before flying off. New Mexico's crayfish include invasive species. I grew up calling them crawfish; you may have grown up calling them crawdads or some other name.