And another critter who occasionally calls my caper bush home – the Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia arabica)!
These spiders are bright green, often with white and red markings on the body. The legs are covered in large bristles, which most likely helps them catch and keep hold of their prey. They have keen eyesight and a unique arrangements of their 8 eyes: six of them are arranged in a hexagonal pattern and two smaller eyes are below and in front of these.
They are ambush hunters and do not use webs. Instead, they live on the plants and wait, hidden by their camouflage, for their prey and then attack.
Green Lynx Spiders eat a variety of insects – flies, bees, wasps, and butterflies.
As you can see, they often eat pollinators, so I was not always happy to have these spiders in my garden, where they were content to live on a number of the local plants, as well as my pepper and basil plants. If you look closely as you wander through the wadis, you might spot them on Iphiona plants or Cleome herbs (samwa). Often, it will be the spider’s prey that you spot first. Or an egg sac.
Each of their egg sacs can contain hundreds of eggs that hatch into cute little spiderlings.
Like all spiders, the Green Lynx has an exoskeleton that, although flexible, does not grow. As the spiders get bigger, they must grow a new exoskeleton and shed, or molt, the old one. The old skin gets left behind, like the one shown below.
There is not a lot of information about this species of spider available on the Internet, at least not in English. So, I couldn’t find out more about this last photo – a female Green Lynx Spider apparently eating her mate!
Have you spotted this spider on your wadi wanderings?