Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Green lynx spider with hatchlings

with 36 comments

Click for greater clarity.

On December 1st last year, upon approaching a prairie flameleaf sumac tree (Rhus lanceolata) in Cedar Park to photograph its fall foliage, I noticed that one bunch of leaflets had been pulled together to make a shelter. I soon figured out that a green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) had created the shelter as a nest. Plenty of hatchlings scurried about, no doubt disturbed by my close presence and the closer presence of my camera.

Of the various pictures I took there, I chose to show this one because the two curved sumac leaflets in the upper right with the hatchlings on them somehow reminded me of a Hokusai wave. (Hey, that’s all the way over in Japan, so my imagination has a right to be far-fetched.)

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2018 at 4:51 AM

36 Responses

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  1. Beautiful!

    Bonnie Michelle

    February 2, 2018 at 7:07 AM

  2. Love the spiders. Nice catch.

    Sherry Felix

    February 2, 2018 at 7:49 AM

  3. “Hatchlings” is such a great word, and these hatchlings are amazing. They appear to be tiny duplicates of the adult. I see these conglomerations of web and plant parts from time to time, but rarely see the spiders. I’m more likely to come across crab spiders hidden away, waiting for lunch.


    February 2, 2018 at 8:24 AM

    • My impression is that the hatchlings are indeed tiny duplicates of the adult. Even if that’s not correct, I do know that as each young spider grows it occasionally sheds its old, constricting exoskeleton and produces a larger one.

      Like you, when I find a spider it’s usually by itself, and is most often a crab spider on or near a flower.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2018 at 8:40 AM

  4. What an interesting-looking spider, and nice shot. And an interesting lynk to the Japanese painting. The hatchlings look like they’re enjoying their sumac playground, swings and slides. I’ve never seen one of these lynx spiders, we’re too far north, but the article said they can squirt venom up to a foot?!

    Robert Parker

    February 2, 2018 at 8:59 AM

  5. Oh yes, I see the wave. I really like this wonderful shot of spiders. I like how it takes a moment for my eye to spot them.


    February 2, 2018 at 9:03 AM

    • And then there’s the reward that comes from suddenly recognizing their presence (like me with that under-ice frog a few weeks ago).

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2018 at 10:37 AM

      • Yes exactly. I love that experience in the field, and you succeeded in creating that in a photograph. Both photographs.


        February 3, 2018 at 8:13 AM

        • Although I’ve occasionally managed to capture hidden things, I’ve long wondered how many others I’ve missed. I assume the missed things greatly outnumber the ones I’ve found.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 3, 2018 at 9:03 AM

    • And familiarity with Hokusai’s print might have disposed you to see the wave.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2018 at 10:38 AM

  6. Great photo with all of the hatchlings! I have never seen that!


    February 2, 2018 at 9:59 AM

    • I’m not sure I ever had, either, at least not in such quantity and so clearly. We never know what we’ll come across in nature. Experience says that as long as we keep putting ourselves out there often enough, new finds will keep coming our way.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2018 at 10:40 AM

  7. Spider child care …
    Great photo


    February 2, 2018 at 4:47 PM

  8. At first I only saw leaves and webbing (suffering from serious head cold that has dulled my senses) then suddenly the mother popped out into perfect clarity. After that the babies were easy to see. Your vision of the Hokusai wave pushed my brain to see that one of the little spiders is perfectly poised for “shooting the curl”. This caused me to go here: http://www.thesurfingsite.com/Surf-Slang.html and I soon realized there were a few more small spider surfers in a “line up” for this wave. 😉

    Green spiders are lovely and the least threatening of any. Perhaps it is their jewel like quality?


    February 3, 2018 at 6:59 AM

    • Sorry to hear about your cold. One way it worked in your favor here is to have delayed recognition of the spider, so that you got a happy surprise when it suddenly crystallized into view. That non-recognition probably works in the spider’s favor, too, as camouflage. Don’t know if we can attribute your “shooting the curl” and “line up” views of the spiderlings to your cold or to a far-fetched imagination (or both).

      As for green, this species of spider is often much more so than the one I found on the flameleaf sumac:


      Steve Schwartzman

      February 3, 2018 at 8:28 AM

      • I was a California Girl and watched Gidget and all the surfer flicks in Jr High and HS. and, well, a far-fetched imagination helps plenty! 😉


        February 10, 2018 at 5:02 PM

  9. The Green Lynx spider is one of my favorites! They look barbaric, but they are really a pleasant spider to watch. I see them all around the house here in the summer months. We don’t generally see them much after October or November. This mother was very clever to place her nest in such a location.


    February 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM

    • It’s good to know someone who’s familiar with this species, which is pretty common in Austin. I don’t know much about spiders, but this is one whose color makes it easy to recognize. I never thought about seasonality, but now that you mention it, December was probably pretty late in the year to see a green lynx. The rare bit of snow that fell here came a week later.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 3, 2018 at 11:07 AM

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