Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Twospined spider

The idea was to visit the gardens to see what they'd planted under their hibiscus.  We've an area that we've just started to plant and thought hibiscus could be good, but what to plant with them?  Where better to get ideas than Auckland's Botanic Gardens?

Armed withe camera and 50mm lens off we set.  Close by the carpark we noticed a rather strange "growth" on a leaf.  The growth turned out to be a Twospined Spider.  Apparently, these spiders arrived in New Zealand from their native Australia about 30 or so years ago.  No one seems to know how they got here, but they seem like they're here to stay.  The female is the most colourful of the two genders and also has the ability to change colour.

Not being sure what was sitting under the leaf we decided to give it a prod with a stick.  The spider slowly lifted its body to reveal its legs and then stood up, turned so we could see its rather strange body shape, then sat down again just where it had been before the prod.  Check here for a triptych of the spider.

Very cute.  Amazing what you see when you carry a camera with you.

Oh, the hibiscus?  Well, it seems that they've planted all manner of plants with them.  Bromeliads, ferns, palms pretty well anything!

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