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Unknown spotting

Description:

Today I took a trip to the remote Goa Kasah caves here in Kerinci, Sumatra. We came across this incredible white spider while we were inside! It was about 4 inches in length.

Habitat:

Inside a cave in the Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia.

Notes:

On first glance, I assumed this was some sort of bizarre cave-dwelling spider with some very unique adaptations. Unfortunately, it was too high up on the cave wall to be able to study it well. I immediately posted the photo when I got home, and a friend suggested that it could be a spider covered in a fungus. A close inspection of a hard crop did seem to show similar patterns on the legs with another type of spider we came across in the cave (which you can see in the last picture). So in the end, this seems to be a variety of Huntsman spider (Sparassidae) infected with a pathogenic fungus, possibly a type of Cordyceps. What a horrific way to go!


1 species ID suggestions

Cordyceps Fungi
Cordyceps sp. Cordyceps

22 Comments

Jellis
Jellis 4 years ago

entomopathogenic fungus

Maria dB
Maria dB 4 years ago

Fascinating spotting!

luke.mackin
luke.mackin 4 years ago

Langford, if you read what I wrote, I describe where it was. There's also a clearly marked map as well...

LeanneGardner
LeanneGardner 4 years ago

That's amazing. What a great find!

luke.mackin
luke.mackin 4 years ago

I think that's a good suggestion, Jared! What a way to go...

luke.mackin
luke.mackin 4 years ago

Leana: I'm guessing that the spider in the third image is the same species, but I don't know for sure.

JC_Forester
JC_Forester 4 years ago

Amazing! In this video (near the end) there is a cordyceps species on a spider that looks like yours. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuKjBIBBA...

TicThapanya
TicThapanya 4 years ago

wow amazing spider..

Iceotty
Iceotty 4 years ago

The little white things look like tiny mushrooms!!!!!!

venusflytrap2000
venusflytrap2000 4 years ago

what the....

Poor spider :( How about the third photo luke.mackin, is that how it looks like without the fungus?

YukoChartraw
YukoChartraw 4 years ago

Poor spider! Fascinating though!

Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander 4 years ago

Amazing!

luke.mackin
luke.mackin 4 years ago

...and hopefully I don't start sprouting in a few days as well!!!!

luke.mackin
luke.mackin 4 years ago

Thanks, everyone. I'm definitely leaning towards a fungal growth as well. Would love an identification of the fungus! How bizarre!

CostaBoyJack
CostaBoyJack 4 years ago

looks like snow

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 years ago

Fantastic spotting. I agree it looks fungal. What a way to go.

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 4 years ago

At first I though it was going to be something similar to Heteropoda davidbowie, but I think the zoom clearly shows those filaments to be fungal structures. Cool spotting!

Smith Zoo
Smith Zoo 4 years ago

I agree with Conor, first two images look like a fungi covered spider.

ConorSheaWing
ConorSheaWing 4 years ago

You can kind of see the stripes through the white in the second picture, I think it's the same spider you were encountering but covered in fungus.

Jambi, Indonesia

Lat: -1.82, Long: 101.36

Spotted on Jun 1, 2013
Submitted on Jun 1, 2013

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