13 March 2011

Not exactly a hermit crab


I put several sea shells of uncertain provenance out on my deck several months ago. Their sole intended function was to enliven the otherwise drab wooden railing. However, certain arthropodous denizens of the backyard, distantly related to the hermit crabs of the sea and the seashore, appear to have developed a liking to the shells.

When I lifted one snail shell up yesterday, I inadvertently revealed the hideout of a spider of some sort.


I don't know if the spider was using the shell to hide from unsuspecting prey or its own predators or simply as a shelter from the elements. The correct answer may be all of the above.

3 comments:

Cindy said...

Looks like a crab spider. Genus Philodromus, I think.

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

So maybe it's a hermit crab spider!

Anonymous said...

A BBC camera team made a very cool video of a Madagascar spider species Olios coenobitus that actually routinely hoists a land snail shell up into a bush so the spider can hide in it!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_9385000/9385482.stm

By the way, to me the spider that Aydin found, although tiny, looks like it belongs to the family Sparassidae, the huntsman spiders.

Susan J. Hewitt