While walking at Southeast Metropolitan Park on October 30th, I noticed a tiny bit of pale bluish-green color at the intersection of the radiating spikes of a grass seed head. Upon looking more closely I still couldn’t tell what I was seeing, but the view through my camera’s macro lens revealed a spider of a sort I don’t think I’d ever seen before. Joe Lapp later told me it was probably Eustala anastera, and the good folks at BugGuide concurred.
The shape of this little spider, which was only about a quarter of an inch long and which is known as a humpbacked orbweaver, takes me back to the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers science fiction movies of the 1930s, and it reminds me somehow of the simplistic rocket ships that appeared in those films. Less far afield, which is to say still in the realm of biology, I can also imagine the spider transforming itself into a pulsating jellyfish.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman