Watch a spider shed its skin under the microscope!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 28 March 2019 16:32

Yesterday, as well as four species of ladybird beaten from one branch of a Douglas Fir, there was also a sub adult male Araneus (either triguttatus or sturmi). Now sturmi usually favours evergreens and trigutattus deciduous trees according to the texts. So you would think that it's more likely to be sturmi. Being a young male though, it wasn't possible to tell. I fed him some springtails from the garden today to see if he would grow. An hour later I checked to see if he had eaten any of them and it appeared dead. No, wait, it's just started shedding its skin. So I dashed to the microscope and set up the camera and recorded it shedding its skin! So cool...

Turns out it is Araneus triguttatus which is much commoner in Sussex than sturmi. I have never seen one with this particular colour pattern as they are usually much more orange with a distinctive pattern, not these three pale dots. My 125th spider for the year and another new species for Burton Pond. I would have missed this if I had looked 10 minutes later, so feeling pretty lucky.

1 Response to "Watch a spider shed its skin under the microscope!"

debbie Says:

That is wonderful to see. Some excellent skills all round

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