Yesterday when I did the research on this thing and found out what it was, I had a very nerdy moment of excitement. Sure, most people get excited over things very different from this, but hey, a chacun son gout.
So, let me just get straight to it. This funny little mystery is called…
The Bird-dropping Spider!!
Once again it appears I’m a huge lover of spiders, and I guess I am, but they just seem to find me. You’ll have to forgive the quality of the pictures. This little guy was dedicated to his role as poo. It took a lot of coaxing to get him to move enough just to get a few snaps before he went back into character. And honestly, had I not prodded so much, he’d have never moved at all. Great camouflage to fool predators and surprise unsuspecting prey.
The male of this species tends to be on the smaller side at around 3mm. I’m guessing this one was either a male or young spider because that’s pretty much exactly how big it was. If you zoom in on one of the pictures you can see some web, and apparently only the young of this species actually make web. The females of the species are quite large and grow to about 20mm in length! Oddly enough, it’s the females that are usually found with the males and young being seldom seen. So this was quite a treat indeed!
My two guesses were a tiny frog and then when I noticed the “legs” had separate fingers, that it was some sort of spider. I guessed a spiny orb type because of the cream/white “skull” part. So I was partly right. 🙂
The pic above sort of looks like the front view of a tiny frog.
The picture above looks like the back of a tiny frog with its legs/knees along its sides.
These spiders are also known as Death’s Head Spider because from the top they resemble a skull.
Commonly found in orchards, they are also called Orchard spiders.
Like the Australian Huntsman, the female of this species attack their prey directly and do not build a web.
Adult bird-dropping spiders only capture one species of moth, the Lawn Armyworm.
The male of this species gives off a scent that mimics the scent of the female Armyworm moth.