Unidentified

Picture ID 48068

Picture of unidentified spider

Comments & ID Thoughts

These pictures are the same spider as 48027, just different perspectives.

  • Submitted by: 
    Hivediver
  • Submitted: Nov 10, 2018
  • Photographed: Nov 3, 2018
  • Spider: Unidentified
  • Location: Silk Hope, North Carolina, United States
  • Spotted Outdoors: Man-made structure (building wall, fences, etc.)
  • Found in web?: Yes
  • Attributes:
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TangledWeb
Member

Wow!! You did a great job with the photos! What program/app did you use for the collage? You were very thorough with the angles and got the eye, which is quite useful. I’m not sure if this looks more like spider basketball or arachnid interpretive dance. That’s a weirdly flexible spider. I’m curious, Ill get to work on the ID..

Spider106
Member

I assume that the large brown ball is her egg case. What is the white fuzz-ball that she is manipulating.

TangledWeb
Member

Hi, it isn’t my photo, but yes the brown thing is an egg sack and I’m pretty sure the smaller white balls are silk-wrapped prey. The shape of the egg sack can be a factor in determining the species.

Spider106
Member

I agree with your earlier comment that these are beautiful photos of an extraordinary spider.

Her ability to delicately handle the small silk-wrapped prey with such long arms (correction, long legs) is remarkable. Looks like she placed the prey on her egg sack ?

I’m not a biologist, but this doesn’t look like a spider that would be native to North Carolina. Maybe she is a long-distance traveler from the tropics !!!

TangledWeb
Member

I’ve spent today studying spider reproduction (I really need to get out more!). Instead of depositing eggs directly into the large sack, where there is a risk of desiccation, it is possible that the larger sack is a retreat and the spider is wrapping her eggs into balls of silk and placing them into the sack where she’ll join them.

Spider106
Member

This spider is getting more interesting all the time !!! We need a photo of her squeezing into the egg sack retreat. I am anxious to hear the final verdict on her species and range. Wish we had a few of her kind in New Hampshire.

Hope you are going to spend Thanksgiving at the dinner table and not researching more spider reproduction :)) Just kidding, I very much admire people who are dedicated and passionate about their work, their play, their hobby.

TangledWeb
Member

Thank you. I learned that showing off your spider photos on your phone is an effective way to get other people to back off from the desert table. Yes, I really did that 😉 My dad truly does want to learn what spiders do differently than the “birds and bees”. I prefer to end up in the Guy Group of chat at parties, more stories about the origins of our scars, less gossip. My uncle had a scar from being mauled by a bear last year that won the scar contest. He was trying to ne friends with it while… Read more »

Spider106
Member

You make me laugh. Maybe I will talk spiders at the Indian Head dessert table on Thanksgiving. They usually have five kinds of cheesecake, don’t want to have any competition. Your uncle’s bear story strikes a cord. When I still owned my house in the 2001-2006 timeframe, I fed the bears bowls of black-oil sunflower seeds every evening. I would sit on a lawn chair while they ate next to me. Never had a bad encounter, we were soulmates. But the neighbors didn’t like it at all. One man in particular accused me of putting his children’s lives in jeopardy.… Read more »

Spider106
Member

Then again, the spider was sighted in “Silk” Hope, North Carolina …..

Spider106
Member

Anymore updates ? Here are some additional thoughts. Initially the white hump looked like part of the spider’s body due to its symmetry. But your top right photo shows it extending around the underside of the abdomen. So the hump is most likely a fungal growth, as suggested by your linkedin friend’s taxonomist. You refer to a smaller spider, do you mean the bottom middle photo ? That looks like the same spider from a different angle and less magnified. The yellow spot at the back end of the abdomen is web debris (see other photos). Maybe your spider is… Read more »

TangledWeb
Member

The smaller spider was inadvertently cropped out of the collage photos. The original photo with the other spider can be found under Locations >North Carolina. It can be saved to a device and reposted from that photo. I have a copy of it saved while I try to figure it out.

Spider106
Member

I see the small spider in 48027. Hivediver’s linkedin friend’s taxonomist believes the large spider to be genus Argiope, characterized by a silver carapace (head) and large brown egg sac. Maybe the small spider wandered into the web but is unrelated.

TangledWeb
Member

I have an theory about this. The fungus Mucor fragiis infects brown widows, Latrodectus geometricus. It alters the surface of their bodies, hiding the colors. It can cause protusions as it expands internally. The infected spiders exhibit behavioral changes and become agitated and aggressive. The fungus can be visible on a living infected spider. I think these photos show a distorted and aggressive female Latrodectus geometricus. There was a study posted on researchgate.net Please be aware that humans can be infected by this fungus when you are in the spider’s habitat. It is possible that these infections are occurring in… Read more »

Spider106
Member

The large spider is Argiope, not a brown widow, but she may have been infected after killing and ingesting the brown widow. The fungus should be identified in the lab to help understand its possible spread northward. Nice work TangledWeb.

TangledWeb
Member

Thanks! I just noticed that her leg joints show signs of internal fungal infection. Some of my long-bodied cellar spiders have a similar parasitic fungal infection. The first visible sign is when the fungal strands burst through the leg joints. That is a spot on their body that isn’t contained by exoskeleton. Grossly, the fungus leaks out of containment there. Looking closely at the photos, there are white swollen gaps in her joints. The webbing in the photo could be the dead spider’s or the large female is spasmodically producing a mess of web.

Spider106
Member

You should alert the authors of the fungus study to these photos. It must be extremely rare to photograph a brown widow with a fungus-infected Argiope !!!

TangledWeb
Member

See genus Philodromis.