What could seem more unappetizing to a bird than the prospect of eating its own droppings? The incredible masquerade of bird-dropping crab spiders (Phrynarachne spp.) enables them thus to hide in plain sight, usually perched exposed on the upper surface of a leaf. Not only does the spider itself look (and smell) like dung, but it also skillfully uses its own silk to simulate white stains of the splatter of a bird dropping – at times even crafting ‘drip lines’ down the furrows of a leaf. This disguise not only helps them avoid predators but it also attracts hungry flies which are hoping for a meal. Most spiders usually discard the remains of their prey after consuming them, but Phrynarachne sometimes incorporate the carcasses, as shown here, into convincing extensions of their facade. Kubah National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo).
- © Chien C. Lee
- Image Size
- 2720x4075 / 8.5MB
Arachnida, Araneae, Araneomorphae, Borneo, East Malaysia, Entelegynae, Malaysia, Sarawak, Southeast Asia, Thomisidae, Thomisoidea, aggressive mimicry, animal, arachnid, arthropod, camouflage, crab spider, crypsis, cryptic, dung, fauna, invertebrate, masquerade, mimesis, mimic, mimicry, scat, spider, tropical
- Contained in galleries
- Mimicry, Predators & Prey, Borneo, Other Invertebrates