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Bolas spider

Mastophora sp.


The most awesomely bizarre spider I've ever found! This spider looked exactly like a bird dropping at first glance. Bolas Spiders are unusual orb-weaver spiders that do not spin the typical web. Instead, they hunt by using a sticky 'capture blob' of silk on the end of a line, known as a 'bolas'. By swinging the bolas at flying male moths or moth flies nearby, the spider may snag its prey rather like a fisherman snagging a fish on a hook. Because of this, they are also called angling or fishing spider (although the remotely related genus Dolomedes is also called fishing spider). The prey is lured to the spider by the production of up to three pheromone-analogues.


Semi rural


I'm pretty sure this is either Mastophora leucabulba or M. cornigera - can anyone confirm the species for me?

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49 Comments (1–25)

KarenL 8 years ago

Here is an amazing video clip from David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth showing a bolas spider hunting

KarenL 8 years ago

Thanks meesha!
Very strange juan!

Sew 8 years ago

amazing!!!great job!!

KarenL 8 years ago

Thanks guys!

dotun55 8 years ago

There is spider, and there are spiders. Wonderful!

ToshimiDowaki 8 years ago

Great series! Congratulations!

MayraSpringmann 8 years ago


MacChristiansen 8 years ago

Nice series Karen

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 8 years ago

Yes ! So many vivid types of spiders and an amazing life style they have!

KarenL 8 years ago

Thank you Noel & namitha!
Adarsha, I agree, I've always been fascinated by spiders but the amazing specimens I see here have turned me into a real arachnophile!

Noel Buensuceso
Noel Buensuceso 8 years ago

Congrats Karen! Great series and info!

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 8 years ago

Congratulations Karen! These days Spiders are rocking.
First Bird dropping spider from Tic, then bird dung spider from me, then jumping spider from Cindy, then Bolas spider from you :) Spider year :)

namitha 8 years ago

Congratulations Karen. A, really amazing and unique spotting.

KarenL 8 years ago

Wow! Thank you for the honor Yasser, & thank you everyone for your kind comments!

I never cease to be amazed by the incredible critters I find in our yard but this one is definitely one of the most weird & wonderful!

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

Gross I got poop on my arm... wait no... its a spider! Ah! ;p Great spotting Karen Congrats!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 8 years ago

It does look so like bird droppings - great shots, Karen and Congratulations !!

RiekoS 8 years ago


Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 8 years ago

congrats for yet another treasure from 'Goose Creek"

LaurenZarate 8 years ago

Congratulations Karen for your spottings, your SOTD and all your hard work! Wonderful spider.

Atul 8 years ago

Congratulations Karen ...Awesome spotting !

surekha 8 years ago

Congratulations on this awesome SOTD, Karen!

AshleyT 8 years ago

Congrats, Karen! Very cool spider :)

Congratulations on a well deserved SotD Karen !


Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 8 years ago

Congratulations, Karen.

Spotted by

Franklin, Tennessee, USA

Spotted on Sep 9, 2013
Submitted on Sep 9, 2013

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