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257 Views 1 Reply Last post: Aug 19, 2014 11:59 AM by Florin - Museum ID team RSS
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May 27, 2014 6:41 PM

S. grossa playing dead?

This morning I had an intriguing encounter with what I'm 99% sure was a cupboard spider (steatoda grossa); it closely matched one I had ID'd as such on this site.  It was in the bathroom running about the floor in a rather confused fashion.  At one point it strayed into the web of a small cellar spider, but although the cellar spider ran at it, the cupboard spider retreated before - so far as I could tell - contact was made.  I wasn't too keen to have it around so I trapped it in a glass.  It seemed fine, but I had to put it to one side for about five minutes and when I returned it appeared to be dead, lying on its side with its legs wrapped around it.  Even when moved there wasn't a hint of life.  I was rather surprised and wondered if it had been bitten by the cellar spider after all.  However, after being left alone for another five minutes or so, it had a miraculous resurrection so I released it where we wouldn't bother each other.

 

Are cupboard spiders prone to 'playing dead' (presumably in the hope of being left alone) or might there have been some other cause?  The one I captured before certainly didn't bother with such tricks, it just did its best to escape.  Attached is a photo of the seemingly dead spider.

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