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Spiders everywhere


Michael Duffy

Little Desert National Park VIC Bush Blitz | Oct 2018

Back into the field today with the Arachnologists. Quite a long drive involving some pretty serious 4 wheel driving on very sandy roads. Maria did a great job getting us to the survey site without getting bogged.

Once at the site we began an active search in the leaf litter and beneath the bark of trees. Dr. Barbara Baehr from Queensland Museum and Joseph Schubert from Museums Victoria were there showing us where and how to find the various types of spiders. Joseph’s area of expertise is jumping spiders and Barbara is an extremely experienced and knowledgeable spider taxonomist who has described over 600 species.

We started off quite slowly as it was a bit cold for the spiders to be very active. However once the sun came out, the action hotted up. Soon there seemed to be spiders everywhere, it is amazing how many there are when you are actually looking for them.

After searching and collecting for a few hours we stopped for lunch and a session of show and tell. Barbara and Joseph went through all the spiders we had caught ,telling us what they were and a bit about their ecology.

spiders everywhere 1

After lunch we searched for another 40 minutes and then headed home. Back at camp the new scientists from Museums Victoria were just arriving, they consisted of teams to study snails and insects. Because they were running a bit late they did not have time to head out into the field so we had a bit of spare time. We decided to go for a drive to the Pink Lake near Dimboola.

It was here that we realised how much we were being influenced by the scientists around us. While visiting an amazing tourist attraction we spent most of our time searching the ground for spiders. By the end of the week we may be fully qualified scientists.