A Fun-Loving Guide to the Natural World for Kids and Adults

Wicked Cool Spider

My mother, over to visit for the annual morel hunt, spotted this tiny creature crawling out of a morel and across the table. We had it halfway outside before we decided that we simply had to get the camera. This creature is COOL!

Haven’t been able to ID it. Perhaps it is a ‘dwarf spider’ — Erigoninae.  But it’s difficult to concentrate on a name when something looks this awesome. Can you tell we’re infatuated? Another case of taking a closer look and being amazed at what we see. Dang, this is a cool world we live in!

15 Responses to “Wicked Cool Spider”

  1. Amazing and beautiful! Just look at that abdomen, perfectly spherical and glossy as a black pearl. And that shiny red jacket, orange stockings and black patent leather boots. Lovely.

    I’m glad you have the kind of mom who didn’t immediately smash that spider.

  2. Hi Jackie!

    We’re glad our mother is an animal lover as well — including creepy crawlies =) The abdomen truly does look like a black pearl, and seems quite unlikely perched there like that. We just can’t get enough of looking at this critter!

  3. Gorgeous! But what an elegant structure- can you imagine trying to squirm out of that intricate exoskeleton without breaking something?

    Thanks for the great photo.

  4. Didn’t even think of that, Sally. We can’t imagine, actually. Frankly, it doesn’t seem possible!

  5. Hard to believe it’s in Wisconsin. Looks like something from the tropics. I want to find one.

  6. Hi Dave,

    We know what you mean! We’ve been watching for another ever since but haven’t seen one in the yard (though it would be tough, as they’re very tiny). We’re guessing, from where we found this one, that they prefer a shaded, woodland habitat. We’ll keep looking, and do let us know if you find one!

  7. this is quite an impressive spider. So colorful and pretty. I did a little research and discovered that it is indeed a Dwarf Spider in the subfamily Erigoninae. From what I read they are also called Money Spiders (England) and there are 650 species North of Mexico. That would make ID’ing them to species very difficult. I will keep working on it though. Mushrooms are incredible places to find interesting species. I’ve had unique beetles crawl out of morels. How have things been going in WI?
    Things are great here, the weather has been nice up until this past few days. Rain is setting in and the temps have been dropping. Severe storms are predicted for tonight. I love thunderstorms!

  8. Hi MObugs! =)

    So it IS a Dwarf Spider! Very exciting — thanks for researching. Wonder why they call them ‘Money Spiders’ in England. It would be fun to do a little photo record of everything found in a collection of morels — perhaps a fun project!

    Things are great here in Wisconsin. We had some very cool weather in the past few days as you did, including some ice pellets and frost two nights in a row. It wasn’t hard enough to kill anything, though, so the gardens and wildflowers are doing fine. We’re jealous of your thunderstorms, though. We couldn’t agree more about loving them! The plum blossoms have come and gone, the elm samaras are past their sweet stage (one of our favorite spring-time nibbles), and the Orioles, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, and even a Red-Headed Woodpecker have been coming to the feeders. A wondrous and early spring!

  9. Gorgeous spider! Hypselistes florens looks like a good match.

  10. Hi Ted!

    It looks like you’re correct. And a female to boot? Pretty spectacular colors . . .

  11. Hi Kenton and Rebecca,

    Excellent spider! When I find an unfamiliar insect, I check out whatsthatbug.com then spend way too much time looking at all the mind-blowing insects they’ve got on there.

  12. Hi Cecilia,

    A fun and highly educational site indeed! And you’re right — also addicting =)

  13. Hi! Wow that’s a really interesting bug and great picture! :) We are doing a biology project in school right now which deals with environmental issues that could affect bugs like the one above. Our group (Zharbage) specifically deals with garbage and ways to efficiently get rid of it without releasing too much carbon dioxide or methane. Please show your support and join our facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=129187147094822&ref=ts)and invite all your friends! :) Everyone can make a difference!

  14. Ho! Really nature is so beautiful we can’t image any seen or anything. Sometimes we can’t have words to describe the nature, but we feel them and we enjoy them like some flowers, birds. so many are there in the nature anyway nature is beautiful……………..

  15. Hi Sarah Jo,

    We couldn’t agree more =)

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