Gardening Magazine

At Home in the Flowers

By Gardenamateur

It's that time of year when all the insect pests like to have a munch on our citrus trees, and the brightly coloured bronze orange bugs were my target this morning. While knocking a few of the big galoots out of the foliage, onto the ground, I disturbed this little spidery person, who I had never seen before.

At home in the flowers

Say hello to the Flower Spider, Diaea evanida to those in the
know. In one sense I really should have come across this spider
decades ago, as it's a common enough Australian spider,
but that camouflage job is pretty cool. Green on green, with
a white bummy bit that looks like a flower bud.

At home in the flowers

Once I'd taken the photos it only took me the first few seconds
of Google searching to find out its formal name, at this
Spiders of Australia website Then another quick Googling 
deposited me on this handy website which is the 
"fan page" devoted to Diaea evanida.

At home in the flowers

I'm sure our garden wildlife see me as a pest. I never harm
any of them, but they do resent my intrusion with the camera,
so for what it's worth I always say "sorry" after I have taken
my photos and departed for my study to download them.

If you're a bit squeamish about visiting spidery websites (you probably haven't made it this far down the page, come to think of it) the short story about our little flower spider friend is that he and she live amongst all sorts of flowers, taking advantage of their excellent camouflage to eat small insects. There are plenty of photos on the spidery websites showing them making a meal of flies and other little insects, but I think a big, hulking bronze orange bug is just too big an assignment for them. 

Oh well, even if they don't do my work for me in the citrus trees, it's nice to finally meet them and know yet another fascinating little person with whom we share our garden.


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