Fishing Spider (Dolomedes), Shane, Bulverdes, TX pg 3

Fishing Spider, Bulverde TX, July 25, 2008, Shane; front facialOf course, such craftiness is not anything like it seems. It is unlikely this spider sees its anterior abdomen, so it doesn't know the "owlish eye" markings are there. It probably doesn't even realize that its prey ignores its eyes, to fixate on its abdomen until it becomes too late to escape. Spiders with such markings simply capture more prey of the kind that are fooled by its false eye markings. If such prey are abundant, these spiders survive better than spiders that don't have them, and thus pass on their genes to later generations. Such prey must be abundant in the haunts of this spider, else it would not have retained the first crude markings, put there eons ago by chance genetic mutations.  Those crude marks would be expected to grow more "owlish" looking over time, as---in keeping with the Red Queen Principle of selective adaptation--additional mutations made fortuitous modifications to the initial ones. But notice one other adaptation: its real eyes, consisting of eight dark globes in two horizontal rows--four larger eyes in the upper row, and four smaller eyes in the lower--in the face above two murderous-looking fangs (one, on the left, quite visible below the basal segment of its chelicera), are hidden by their darkened surroundings, improving the utility of the false eyes of the abdomen. Note that this is one of three photos of fishing spiders sent in during 2008. The others were sent in by J.W., in Sealy, TX, on 072908, and Rob S., in East TX, on 110908/. All three spiders are compared, side by side, on a separate page ----FINIS---- PAGE MENU   1  *  2  *  3  * 

SNAKE ENCOUNTERS * SPIDER ENCOUNTERS SPIDER BITE FIRST AID * SPIDER EXTERMINATION * Created & edited by Jerry Cates: Questions? Corrections? Comments? BUG ME RIGHT NOW! ---- Ph: 512-331-1111 ---- E-Mail ---- Privacy ---- BugsInTheNews