Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gifford Pinchot State Park Insects and Spiders

I was also able to get some great pictures of a Walking Stick and a large spider (turns out it's a Marbled Orb Weaver spider) while camping at Gifford Pinchot. The Walking Stick was especially exciting because neither my boyfriend nor I had ever seen one in real life. This one was missing a leg, but apparently they can grow them back after several successive molts. I also learned that they remain hanging motionless during the day waiting until it gets dark so they can go out and feed. That makes a lot of sense because he barely moved from the small bush where we left him. We can back from our hike and he was still in the same spot. I also learned that the females can lay a batch of female-only eggs in the event that there are no males around to breed with.

We initially encountered him trapped underneath the rainfly of our tent. I pulled back the rainfly (after grabbing my camera of course) and he was free to move around.

I picked him up from here to move him:

Next I moved him onto a nearby bush that he closely resembled:

We also came upon a large spider while we were walking on one of the trails. I just did a little research with Google Image Search and discovered it's a Marbled Orb Weaver spider:

No comments: