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9 nifty things to know about spiders

28 October 2016
Arachnophobes beware!

Here are nine little-known reasons why you should be fascinated rather than frightened of spiders.

Having recently completed her PhD on ecological impact on spiders, Lizzy Lowe shares some of her favourite facts about these little wonders.

They have an under-appreciated artistic vision

They are great artists who love to make patterns in their webs (just like Charlotte!)

Photo: Lon&Queta

They make great fishing buddies

Spiders from the genus Dolomedes are able to catch and eat small fish.

Photo: M. Nyffeler, BJ Pusey

 

They love being snug

They really love making and sleeping in cute little silk tents.

 

Some of them really just want to be Christmas decorations

The Arkys genus of spiders contains a range of very colourful and oddly shaped spiders that would look at home on any Christmas tree.

They love being close to their kids (literally)

Some mother spiders carry their babies around on their backs with them. Warning: closer inspection of this photo may result in a case of the heebie-jeebies.

Photo: Ralph Arvesen

They love changing their outfits to match flowers

Crab spiders live in flowers and will often camouflage themselves in order to prey upon unsuspecting bees and other pollinators.

Photo credit: Lucarelli

Some go to great lengths to impress

These guys dance, drum and dress fabulously to impress the lady spiders. Peacock spiders are found all over Australia, they may only be small but each species has its own amazing display of colours and drumming pattern that the males use to attract mates.

Photo: Jurgen Otto

They can be great at mimicry

Like the ant mimic jumping spider, Salticidae.
 

Photo: Shyamal

Their idea of fancy dress can use a little work

The Arkys curtulus avoids detection from prey and predators alike with its unique camouflage resembling bird-droppings.

Photo: Peter Woodard

Lizzy Lowe recently completed her PhD in the Integrative Ecology Lab within the School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Follow her on Twitter and her website to learn more about her research.