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Red-legged Purse-web Spider tube

Sphodros rufipes

Description:

At the base of a tree, about the size of one of those cardboard tubes I used to steal from pants hangers. (before the days of plastic hangers). (About 1/2' or 3/8" diameter.).

Habitat:

Mesic transitional forest (from Pine Flatwoods merging into a mesic hardwood hammock.)

Notes:

The Park Biologist at Wekiva Springs State Park was giving our class a tour in a "people-mover". He stopped, had us all get out, and we bush-whacked through a few feet of brush, and eventually arrived at this tree. He was so excited as he pointed to the base of the tree. All I saw were several twigs leaning oddly vertical against the trunk. Then he explained they were nests of Purse-web spiders, a type of "trap-door" spider. Check out the link for a picture of the spider and it's hunting tactic! (Very cool!) I cringe to think that I probably have passed these many times, not knowing they were there or what they were! Now I know! While I ID'd this as red-legged, it may also be the endemic Blue Purse-web. Hard to tell by just the tube.

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MrsPbio
Spotted by
MrsPbio

Altamonte Springs, Florida, USA

Spotted on Sep 26, 2012
Submitted on Sep 28, 2012

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