20 December 2009

It was a cold spider

Around 11:30 this morning I was out in the backyard taking another set of temperature measurements in the snow and freezing my toes at the same time. The temperature on the surface of snow was varying from -3.3 to -5.1°C.

Then I noticed something tiny moving—very slowly—on the snow. It was a 3-mm long spider.

ColdSpider

After taking its pictures, I picked it up and moved it to a sunny spot on a nearby tree. What on earth was it doing on the snow?

I posted this picture on BugGuide.net and within minutes it got identified tentatively as a running crab spider (Philodromidae) and more specifically as a Philodromus sp.

4 comments:

Joel VanDerMeulen said...

Lucky spider.

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

Maybe it's a desiccated piece of chitin on the tree now...

Joel VanDerMeulen said...

Well he was lucky for that moment you found him atleast...

bev said...

I photographed quite a number of spiders and other invertebrates on snow at my farm (before selling it this summer). Often, they seemed to be on the move during warm periods in between freezes, and especially after a bit of mild weather with rain. Most of the spiders were immature and not really possible to ID. Here's a link to a gallery of spiders and others on the snow. On the second page of thumbnails, there are shots of a spider with a parasite.
http://www.pbase.com/crocodile/snow_creatures