Tag Archive: Spiders of Southern Africa

White Crab Spider on a Pink Flower

Crab Spiders are from the family Thomisidae which consists of six sub families; Thomisinae, Bominae, Stiphropodinae, Stephanopinae, Strophiinae and Dietinae. Crab Spiders will live in and up trees, under bark, on or under rocks and stones, on flowers and leaves and on grass. Crab Spiders are great at ambushing their prey and don’t spin webs. They will sit patiently waiting for their prey to come to them and will then pounce on it. Their venom is potent to insects and it can kill a honey bee within seconds of the bee being bitten.

White Crab Spider

Kite Spider

This Kite Spider – Gasteracantha falcicornis’ photo was taken in the bushes around the Fish River Resort outside Port Alfred. It is one of the more commonly found kite spiders. Their abdomens are shiny, very colourful and hard and have a number of spiny projections. Their sizes range from around 5mm to 15mm with the female being much larger than the male. They spin the common round orb web and wait in the center for their pray.

Kite Spider

Button Spider

Button Spiders or Latrodectus Geometricus are some of the most dangerous spiders of Southern Africa. They have neurotoxic venom which affects the heart as well as the respiratory system. It is a very painful bite and one will usually see symptoms within half an hour. At the site of the bite will be red and swollen and often one will get a rash. Strangely enough no deaths have yet been recorded in South Africa.

Button Spider

Green Jumping Spider

We bought our daughters some Canon cameras that were on special and they have been snapping everything that moves or doesn’t. They insisted that I put their best pictures on my blog and I could do nothing but agree. Hope you like this first of many from our eldest, Kira.
This particular spider is possibly a Magnolia Green Jumping Spider. Its scientific name would then be Lyssomanes viridis and comes from the family Oxyopidae. The jumping spiders forage for their prey in the daytime. They approach prey slowly and, when a short distance away, make a sudden leap onto the unfortunate animal. They are good jumpers and can leap many times their own body length.

Green Jumping Spider

Miniature Jumping Spider

While wondering outside minding my own business, a small movement caught my eye. This was the smallest jumping spider I had ever seen, less than 5mm in size. In order to get a shot of this little critter, utmost patience was required. This spider just did not want to have its picture taken. Eventually after many blurred shots through my DCR 250 lens, I caught a near-unusable picture of this menace. If anyone can tell me the exact name of this spider, it would be appreciated. On further investigation it turned out that this is a Portia Spider, one of the most intelligent spiders of them all. They are also known as the Dandy Jumping Spider.

Portia Spider