Last Updated On : Thursday, October 09, 2014 08:46:42 PM

Taxt and Images by : Wong Fook Yee

Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI Hatching

I have been following a young female on a piece of leave for few days. Then on 9-10-2014 it no more at the spot any longer. Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI do not change residing spot often as other spider does.  Only disturbing will sue it away.  Or it might have been eaten by a bird I feared.

Or perhaps it might hide somewhere else temporary such as from strong sunlight.  I search the attaching leaves and to my excitement, it is just a leave above away and in a brand new "home".  It has made herself a newly webbed silk camp and hid inside the bag. Its a sign of egg laying and hatching in progress.

This spider species  in Borneo is not yet identified scientifically. I will temporary give it this code for identification and searching:
"Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI 03OCT14"

MEROTAI because this species was first found in Merotai area.
03OCT14 because this is the date it was first saw.

Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI is one of the few tempted spiders always stay at the very same spot and do not wander around like other species. Like a pat at home  that we can see and watch every day. I will follow her hatching process through and all images of her will be labelled "Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI 03OCT14"

Almost all female spiders protect their eggs by making a silk ‘bed’ and then covering them with a silk ’blanket’. She then wraps them in more silk to make the egg sac.

The spider hangs or attached the sac someplace safe and guards it until the babies hatch. When the babies hatch they often stay inside the sac to finish developing.

Some spider  mother’s stay until the spider lings leave the sac, others will either leave or die before seeing their babies. For this "Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI 03OCT14" female (image above) what will happen to her? This will be an exciting observation for weeks and months following.

See here for all detail about this spider  "Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI 03OCT14".

Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI and An Ant mimic spider 9-10-2014 THU 2:47PM

Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI
Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI

MEROTAI 1-10-2014 WED 12:37PM


More about this pair of  Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI.
More about the above male Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI
More about the above
female Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI

Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI
Family: Thomisidae
Genus: Phrynarachne
Species: Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI

Phrynarachne of Borneo


1-10-2014 MEROTAI

Bird-dung Crab Spider, Phrynarachne sp. (Thomisidae)

There is a tree in Merotai where a family of about 10 Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI  are residing. This was discovered in October 2014.

Look similar to Phrynarachne ceylonica (O. P.-Cambridge 1884) Bird-Dung Spider

Commondly called Bird-Dung Spider because the spider's blobs and warts over the thick and somewhat glazed body surface give the "wet" and "lumpy" look of a piece of fresh bird excrement.

Classification: Family Thomisidae, Crab Spiders
Habitat: Undergrowth at forest fringes.
Female: 10 mm. Male: 2.5mm

A slow-moving spider in the Family Thomisidae, it remain undisturbed it will stationed among shaded leaves of a bushy tree.

The spider reinforces the simulation of bird-droppings by drawing its legs close to the body and lying motionless on a leaf for long hours.

Bird dung crab spiders under the genus Phrynarachne appear to be one of the rarest group.

Only 30 species are recognized as such spiders in genus Phrynarachne as against 41,253 species of spiders known globally.

The Bird Dropping Crab Spider employs clever mimicry to deceive both its predators and prey.

The coloring of its body, along with a layer of white silk deposited on the leaf, make it appear as an unappealing piece of scat. The odor of the spider, which is also reminiscent of a bird dropping, may serve to attract flies which then become an easy meal.

It sometimes sits on a small patch of white silk, which can be mistaken for the white stain caused by the bird-dung when it is splashed on the leaf. Some Phyrnarachne spiders emit a pronounced smell of faeces or urine. The sight and smell of bird-dropping may be a clever device to attract and ambush flies.

Crab spiders move sideways, like crabs. The body is not as hairy as in most spiders. They are slow-moving spiders which do not actively hunt like Wolf Spiders. Instead, they remain stationary and await in ambush for some unsuspecting insects to land in front of them.

The first two pairs of legs in most Crab Spiders are longer and heavier than the third and fourth pairs, and are armed with spines for holding and grasping prey. (see above image)

The female's blobs and warts over the thick and  glazed body surface give the "wet" and "lumpy" look of a piece of fresh bird excrement.

Some Phyrnarachne spiders emit a pronounced smell of faeces or urine. The sight and smell of bird-dropping may be a clever device to attract and ambush flies.

The hair grand extract oilly transperient liquit (see image left) which may be the source of the pronounced smell of faeces or urine that attract flies.

Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI This female Phrynarachne sp MEROTAI is 10mm in body length.

The two pairs of front legs when straight out into straight can reach a span of 20mm from one tip to tip of another leg.

Other species in the Genus: Phrynarachne photographed in Borneo.

Spiders of Sabah  October 09, 2014 08:46:42 PM

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