Spiders abound; indeed, it has been suggested that anywhere in (outdoor) BC, a person is never more than a meter from a spider. Obviously, most pass unnoticed. Not only are there many spiders, there are many species of spiders: some seven hundred known in the province. Clearly, this page will present but a few local characters.

A spider is an arachnid (eight legs, two body segments), rather than an insect (six legs, three body segments). Spiders are predatory, but lack wings and chewing mouth parts. They (usually) have eight eyes, but unlike insects (which have compound eyes), each spider eye has a single lens. Indeed, in cases such as the jumping spider, the eyes provide excellent vision.

wolf spider, femaleThe female wolf spider is larger than the male, and appears even larger in this picture where it is carrying its eggs in a silken bag attached to the abdomen.

wolf spider, maleA male wolf spider hunts relentlessly thought the debris on the forest floor.

house spiderThis is a house spider, quite possibly a Barn funnel Weaver, a species which builds a sheet–like web in dark corners.

jumping spiderThere are 45 species of jumping spiders in BC. Which is this one? It is not unusual to find a jumping spider in the house.

orbweaver webAn orb web, the work of an orb weaver.

weaverThere are two families of orb weavers, one which is round and plump, one which is long and slender. This is the Long–jawed Orb weaver.

orb weaverThis is the round and plump orb weaver.

orb-wearver spiderThis orb weaver is seen from below at the back. From the look of its web, the spider has a bit of housekeeping work to do.

orbweaverThat the orb web can be an effective means of providing the spider with a meal is clear.

orbweaverThe underside of an orb weaver, in a picture I took a few years ago.

tiger lilyA female crab spider (Misumena vatia) looks like just another Pieres Japonica blossoms as it waits to pounce on foraging pollinating insects.

tiger lilyHiding on the petal of a tiger lily is another crab spider (Misumena vatia).

crab spiderThere are many species of crab spiders. This one, from the genus, Xysticus (?), doesn’t haunt flowers, but trees and weeds. But, as with its cousins, it lies in wait for tasty arthropods. However, this particular spider was found on a wall, not a tree; the pickings were probably a bit slim.

tiger lilyThe crab spider (Misumena vatia) waiting on the buttercup is really small. The bee which it threatened, escaped.

Information The Canadian Arachnologist: Nearctic Spider Database;
Information from Wikipedia: Spiders.

Fraser tartan