This spider is pretending to be a beetle

Jumping spiders are known to imitate ants – and some of these clever mimics can be found in the UK. But this is the first time I’ve ever seen a beetle-mimic. The species is Coccorchestes ferreus which is mostly found in New Guinea, and very rarely on mainland Australia.

Spiders by post – that’s got to be cruel, hasn’t it?

In a bizarre news item, the BBC reports: A man has admitted sending a rare venomous spider in a package to a colleague at work. Mahlon Hector, 22, of Leicester delivered the Mexican red-kneed tarantula in a box addressed to a Marks & Spencer branch in Leicestershire. Hector handed in his resignation after dropping off […]

An enormous jumping spider

Jumping spiders are, on the whole, pretty tiny things. And I say ‘pretty’ deliberately as they are amongst the cutest, funniest and most decorative of spiders. The game of ‘hide and seek’ with a passing zebra spider never grows old. But what if they were bigger? A lot bigger? They’d be irresistibly cute, surely! Well, Hyluss diardi, […]

Is Eresus the cutest spider on earth? Send me to find out.

The worlds’s cutest spider. It’s a hard-fought contest, with the jumping spiders invariably on the podium. But I’ve got a soft spot for another family altogether, the eresids or Velvet Spiders. I think they’ve been unfairly overlooked and I’m going to see if I can redress the balance. The UK’s only eresid is the Ladybird […]

Nick Baker breaks the fourth wall with ‘Beautiful Freaks’

The first time the Virtual Ranger met Nick Baker he was presenting prizes at the British Wildlife Photography Awards. Stricken with a streaming cold, he manfully posed for photos and shook hands with sponsors before pulling out of his hat a masterful extemporised address to the assembled photographic dignitaries. And whereas the government minister and […]

Why do spiders come indoors in the autumn?

A perennial question on this site’s popular Ask the Ranger facility is “Where do spiders go in the winter?” (So much so that the answer is given on the same page and can be found here). At this time of the year, however, more direct approaches to The Ranger are common, as spiders start appearing […]

Giant, venomous, invading alien spiders… again.

Oh, no! An Australian town has been terrorised by giant, venomous spiders. Newspapers all around the world are recounting the ordeal of the town of Bowen, Queensland – the town recently made famous by Baz Luhrmann’s film Australia – with perhaps a little more relish than is strictly necessary: “Super-sized tarantulas are spinning a web […]