Monday, October 02, 2006

A very colourful spider

Mr and Mrs Storena.

Mr Storena is a very attractive and unusual spider, being around 20 mm in length (Cephalothorax/Abdomen) with a pair of long arm-like palpal organs in front.

And who could resist the happy face of Mrs Storena (below) with her eight eyes arranged 2,4,2.

I found her wandering across my driveway at 11 am on a bright sunny morning. Obviously, her bright red/orange colors serve well to deter any potential predators. She was a little longer than Mr Storena and much stouter, which gave her a much larger appearance.

There are a number of species from this genus within Australia, but this one probably is either Storena formosa or S. fungina. Their family is Zodariidae, who as a group usually live under leaf-litter or in borrows, sometimes with arranged twigs and other litter around the entrance. However, these spiders tend to be quite mobile and move around, hunting as they go.

Stonera species

Besides the bright and distinct coloration of these spiders, the high and near vertical carapace (shown above) are characteristic of this genus. Goodbye Mrs Stonera, been nice meeting you!

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