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Into the Spideyverse!


Lynne Nadebaum

Little Desert National Park VIC Bush Blitz | Oct 2018

Yes really! Into the Spideyverse! When I say Australian spiders, what do you think of first? Redbacks, right? Or Funnelwebs? or maybe giant hairy Huntsman spiders on the ceiling over your bed. Well, you are wrong! Lots of Australia's spiders are very small and very very cute.

Use the internet to look up videos of Peacock Spiders doing courtship dances and be prepared to be amazed. The kicker is, though, that these truly beautiful exhibitionist spiders are tiny - about the same size as the grey tip on your lead pencil. They can be easy to find though, with the right technique, and instruction from the knowledgeable experts in the field (Joseph from the Melbourne Museum and Barbara from the Queensland Museum).

In an added delight, a spider I collected today in my net is now a part of the valuable collection at the Melbourne Museum. The other surprising thing about the spider expedition is that we (me and my teacher buddies) are now the kind of people that visit tourist attractions and spontaneously collect spiders in little plastic vials, attracting disbelieving looks from other tourists.

Just before tea I had the chance to listen to one of Australia's foremost taxonomists talk to me about Caddis Flies which, I must confess, I didn't really know existed. They are amazing, and Australia has a more diverse population of these insects than any other continent.

The world is SO full of amazing things!

Tomorrow, snails. Can't wait! I hope they are not slow to arrive....