Lynx spiders - Oxyopidae

19 Jul 2012 14:36 #1546 by WT admin
Lynx spiders - Oxyopidae was created by WT admin

Lynx spiders, of the family Oxyopidae, are common throughout Thailand and can be found quite easily in many locations. They are hunting spiders that spend their lives on plants, flowers, grasses and other low growth. 

 Oxyopes be easily spotted, usually on plants of around waist height and lower. Whilst they do dwell in the forest the easiest locations to spot them is on marginal growth by roadways, tracks and trails. They are diurnal (active in the daytime) so they are quite easy to spot at any time of day. Look on plants, especially the lower growth below waist height.

Don’t bother looking for a classic web though because many oxyopes don’t build them, they normally hunt their prey directly either by stalking and jumping or by lying in wait as ambushers. This prey strategy is the basis of how they get their common name. Their common name comes from the lynx cat, as someone thought they resembled the cat in the way the spiders hunt, and their abilities to run quite fast and jump on prey. Once you are close enough lynx spiders are quite easy to identify from their body shape and the long spines on their legs, you can verify later by inspecting the eye layout on your photographs as they identified by having two large front eyes besides a smaller pair, two on the side of their head and two large ones looking above and backward. Of course, if you have better eyes than me, which is not hard, you may be able to see the  eye layout in the field! 

Getting an accurate species ID is quite difficult though as there is not much depth in the photographic record out there on the net for the less common species. A great place to start though is as Pee Pisuth has done a fantastic job of starting a guide to the spiders (as well as many other arthropods) known to exist in Thailand, including Oxyopes. I am hooked on his tentative species checklists, a gold mine of information.

Oxyopes are fascinating to photograph because they don’t seem to exhibit much fear of an approaching hopeful photographer and will quite happily go about their routines whilst you are pushing a camera and flash in their faces. This gives a lot of opportunity to try and change angles and lighting to see what interesting shots you can get.





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