Eyes in the night

A few minutes ago, I went outside to take some trash to the garbage bin.  I was wearing a headlamp, so the leaf litter under the trees appeared to be liberally sprinkled with tiny jewels.  I often notice these beautiful little sparkles of light when I am out after dark.  They are the eyes of insects and spiders reflecting the light of my headlamp, and they’re not visible if I use a handheld flashlight.  I suppose that the light from the flashlight isn’t reflected back at the correct angle.

A few of the sparkles are moths, but the vast majority are wolf spiders, with an occasional fishing spider in the mix.  During the day, they hide away in the leaf litter or down in burrows, but at night they sit motionless on the surface, waiting for prey to wander past.

There are many of them. Very many.  Some of them are big.  And hairy.

Dolomedes
Dolomedes tenebrosus (dark fishing spider), a fairly common species in the garden.

 

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5 thoughts on “Eyes in the night

  1. Why are people scared of spiders? We get big black house spiders here which all come out to “play” in the autumn. May be a few inches across the extended legs. I’ve discovered, when saving them from resident cat, that once on the hand they tend to stay still and even arch their backs up a bit if you tickle them gently. (I say “play” in case there are children reading.) 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Too many legs and fast movement? Big wolf spiders are okay outdoors, but they give me the creeps in the house. Tarantulas aren’t too bad, because they generally move slowly. For some reason, I find little jumping spiders very appealing.

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