National Geographic : 1933 Aug
AFIELD WITH THE SPIDERS © Lee Passmore A FEMALE SPIDER FIVE MINUTES AFTER SHEDDING She appeared like a wax model and was almost transparent, as she rested by her cast-off covering at the right. The female makes a flat, waferlike egg sac, which she carries about under her body by means of her mouth parts. Once I took an egg sac from a female banana spider and gave her in its place a substitute of the same size and shape which I had whittled out of pine. She readily accepted the imita tion sac. WANDERERS AND STAY-AT-HOMES CTENIDAE AND CLUBIONIDAE Spiders of the small family Ctenidae love to roam. One of these ramblers, Anahita punctulata (see Color Plate VII, G), is found in the Southern States. Far different in their disposition are the members of the family Clubionidae. They appear to be possessed of an inferiority com plex. One of them will roll up a leaf and hide away in it as if all the world were gloomy and sinister. Another will pick out a cranny in the side of a cliff or wall, seek ing in this manner his solace and quiet. Many of the species are less retiring and some are light-colored, with conspicuous black cushions of hairs at the tips of the legs. One species, Castaneira descripta, is pictured in Color Plate VII, E. Funnel-web spiders (Agelenidae) abound in summer wherever there are moisture and vegetation. Usually they build near the ground; or, if far above the ground, in a thick growth of vegetation such as a hedge or an evergreen tree. Our common grass spider, Agelena naevia (see Color Plate VII, H), is the best-known funnel-web maker. It is common in many places in the United States. The tube of its web (see page 183) almost invariably leads back into a thick growth of vegetation. Thus, when the spider retreats, it is safe from its enemies. A small cousin of the grass spider is Coe lotes fidelis (see Color Plate VII, K), which does not spin a perfect funnel web. DIVING SPIDERS AND THEIR RELATIVES PISAURIDAE Some of the members of the family Pisauridae are called diving spiders. They belong to the genus Dolomedes and make interesting aquaria inhabitants. I have kept several individuals of Dolomedes triton (see Color Plate VII, L) at different times in large aquaria jars. This species is called the six-spotted diving spider and is the most striking in color and marking.