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Scorpions and spiders near Alto Lucero 3

Sunday, December 10, 2006 | 1 comment

Read the previous part of this blog entry in Scorpions and spiders near Alto Lucero 2

Female Nephila clavipes (Golden orb-weaver).
Female Nephila clavipes (Golden orb-weaver).

We noticed another big Golden orb-weaver having her web attached to barbed wire. I used the tripod to take several pictures of this large spider. Then we crossed a bit down the barbed wire again, and we returned to make photos from the other side.

Female Nephila clavipes (Golden orb-weaver).
Female Nephila clavipes (Golden orb-weaver).

We continued our way back. We noticed several large white birds hanging around the cows. Suddenly I heard the soft sound of a bird, and then we saw the bird itself: a woodpecker hammering away at a fence post. When we got closer it flew away into the fog.

Female Nephila clavipes (Golden orb-weaver).
Female Nephila clavipes (Golden orb-weaver).

We followed the small track back, and arrived at the dirt road. To the left side of this road I had seen several large stones earlier on. And I decided to have a look underneath some of them. And under the first one I spotted a tiny tarantula spider, probably a Brachypelma vagans (Mexican red-rump).

Juvenile tarantula, probably Brachypelma vagans.
Juvenile tarantula, probably Brachypelma vagans.

On a nearby wall Esme spotted two grasshoppers mating. The light was getting less and less, and hence it was quite hard to get a reasonable photo. I tried with a soft flash once, but the colors in that photo turned out to be unnatural.

Two grasshoppers mating on a wall.
Two grasshoppers mating on a wall.

I looked under another stone, on the other side of the road surrounded by a lot of grass. Nothing interesting underneath, but then I spotted a tiny praying mantis resting on the stone itself.

Tiny praying mantis resting on a stone.
Tiny praying mantis resting on a stone.

Back on the left side of the road I looked under a few more stones, and then under the last one of that day I found two juvenile tarantulas. One was probably again a Brachypelma vagans.

Juvenile tarantula, probably Brachypelma vagans.
Juvenile tarantula, probably Brachypelma vagans.

In the above photo one can see to the left of the tarantula the remainders of a cast-off exoskeleton (exuvia). I tried another photo, this time with flash on.

Juvenile tarantula, probably Brachypelma vagans.
Juvenile tarantula, probably Brachypelma vagans.

The cast-off exoskeleton (exuvia) is in the bottom of the above photo. One can clearly see the red hairs on the abdomen of the tarantula.

Juvenile tarantula, unknown species.
Juvenile tarantula, unknown species.

The second tarantula hiding under the stone looked to us quite different from the other two we had seen that day (see above photo). I doubt it's just because the abdomen is almost bald. Maybe it's a different species?

Female Nephila clavipes (Golden orb-weaver).
Female Nephila clavipes (Golden orb-weaver).

On the other side of the road I saw another Golden orb-weaver, and decided to make a few photos. With the last ones I used flash, which makes the web clearly visible.

After a short walk we reached Alto Lucero and we walked to the spot we had gotten off the bus. We heard that the bus to Xalapa had just left, but just a few minutes later a bus arrived, and it turned out to be a bus going to Xalapa.

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