strange behaviors

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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

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“Frankly, Darling, You Look Like Crap, Today”

Posted by Richard Conniff on August 9, 2014

(Photo: John Tiddy)

(Photo: John Tiddy/

Say “Oh, my God, you look like shit!” and this spider is likely to answer, “Why, thank you!”

Add it to your list of species that evade potential predators by disguising themselves as bird poop.

It comes from Australia-based photographer John Tiddy, via American conservation biologist John Karges.  Tiddy found this bird-dropping spider, Celaenia excavata, on a friend’s apple tree.

Tiddy says: “Being mid-winter here, there are not many leaves left on it. The spider hangs motionless during the day, relying on the bird poo look to protect it from predators. At night it descends on its web and emits a pheromone that mimics the pheromone given off by female moths. When the amorous male moth approaches, it becomes supper. Obviously a great spider to have around your fruit trees!”


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