Mud-nest Harvestman Quindina albomarginis Photo by Rosannette Quesada-Hidalgo Mud-nest harvestmen are a group of harvestmen (also known as daddy long-legs) belonging to the genus Quindina (family Nomoclastidae), which has only been found in Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. There are photographic records of two possible mud-nest harvestmen in Ecuador, but little is known about their taxonomy. Like other daddy long-legs, mud-nest harvestmen do not build webs, but males have a very interesting behavior: they build a nest using mud and decomposing organic material. The structure and substrate where the nest is built vary from species to species. In the species present in Costa Rica and Panama, males build a nest in the shape of a circular fighting arena, also called cup-like mud nest, usually underneath rotten tree trunks, logs, or branches that fall onto the forest floor. These nests are visited by females that live in the vicinity who may copulate with the nest owner male and lay eggs that are entirely or partially buried in the nest floor. Nests are built exclusively by the male, who also actively cleans the interior of the nest (including the eggs) from fungus growth and actively repels potential predators that enter the nest to feed on the eggs —mostly cannibal individuals of the same species, but also ants, crickets, and flatworms. Males also constantly repair the nest floor and walls from damages caused mainly by the intense rainfall typical of the tropics. Males usually stay inside the same nest for several weeks or months, defending their nest from usurpation by other males that might steal their nest and eggs. Quindina albomarginis is one of five species of arena-like mud-nest harvestmen. Individuals can be commonly found on Plantation Trail in Soberanía National Park near the Canopy Tower. Individuals are black and can be recognized by
Mud-nest Harvestman Quindina albomarginis Photo by Rosannette Quesada-Hidalgo Mud-nest harvestmen are a group of harvestmen (also known as daddy long-legs) belonging to the genus Quindina (family Nomoclastidae), which has only been found in
Ogre-faced Spider Deinopis sp. Photo by Rosannette Quesada-Hidalgo Like many other spiders, Ogre-faced Spiders are nocturnal. However, they have a very peculiar feature that distinguishes them from other spiders: their median eyes are incredibly big. Also, Ogre-faced Spiders build small, square-shaped webs that they hold between their four front legs, and when they see or feel a crawling or flying prey, they propel themselves and the web forward to catch the prey. It’s an amazing behavior! The combination of these incredible big eyes, which allow them to have excellent night vision, and the fact that their web is built with cribellate threads—a special kind of thread that can stretch two or three times its size—makes these spiders professional sit-and-wait hunters. Moreover, added to these features, Ogre-faced Spiders also have a light-sensitive layer inside their big eyes that is renewed every night! Moreover, they have another interesting characteristic: they take camouflage very seriously! Ogre-faced Spiders are light brown and have elongated bodies, and during the day or when they feel threatened, they extend and tighten their front legs forward and their hind legs back, forming a stick-like shape that can be confused with any other forest twig! You can find Ogre-faced Spiders throughout the tropics of the Australian, African, and American continents.
Ogre-faced Spider Deinopis sp. Photo by Rosannette Quesada-Hidalgo Like many other spiders, Ogre-faced Spiders are nocturnal. However, they have a very peculiar feature that distinguishes them from other spiders: their median eyes are
Eriophora fuliginea Photo by Rosannette Quesada-Hidalgo Eriophora fuliginea is a beautiful orb-weaving spider that belongs to the family Araneae. It is brown with a noticeable coat of thick short hairs. However, individuals vary in coloration: some have a straight white line on the dorsal part of the abdomen, some a set of small white spots or a big white spot like the one in the picture, and some have no white at all. The undersides of the femurs are usually bright red, but they can also be yellow. Males and females are similar in coloration, with males being somewhat smaller than females. These spiders are nocturnal. During the day, they can usually be found in the vegetation in a resting position, in which they press their legs against their body, keeping the bright color on their undersides hidden presumably to remain camouflaged. They can also be found inside a retreat they build by fastening leaves together with silk. Daily, usually just after sunset, the spider builds a large vertical orb web to intercept flying insects. The lines in the webs are very strong and the webs can span about 80 cm, and they sometimes catch larger animals. There is even one report in Panama of an individual of this species feeding on a small bat trapped in its orb! Every day before dawn, these spiders will eat their web and hide in the vegetation or inside their retreat for the day. The retreat is frequently located at the end of one of the upper frames of the orb web, and they can use the same one for several days. Even though these spiders are fast and voracious predators, they are thought to be harmless to humans, and their venom is not considered to be of medical importance. This species is found
Eriophora fuliginea Photo by Rosannette Quesada-Hidalgo Eriophora fuliginea is a beautiful orb-weaving spider that belongs to the family Araneae. It is brown with a noticeable coat of thick short hairs. However, individuals vary in