Spiders in Sinai

It wasn’t until I turned my camera lens from the desert blooms to the creepy crawlies that I got over my fear of spiders. Mostly. Big, hairy ones still freak me out. But the little ones I find around the local wadis and my own desert garden have grown on me and I think they are quite stunning! Luckily, none of these commonly seen spiders are venomous, but there are dangerous spiders in Sinai, like the rare White Widow Spider. Camel Spiders are not spiders nor scorpions, but rather in their own order of Arachnids.

Spiders in Sinai

In this collection, you can see:

Flower Crab Spider (Thomisus sp.)
Spitting Spider (Scytodes sp.)
Velvet Spider (Stegodyphus dufouri)
Hairy Field Spider (Neoscona sp.)
Pantropical Jumping Spider (Plexippus paykulli)
Giant Daddy Long Leg Spider (Artema atlanta)
Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia arabica)
Jumping Spider (Thyene imperialis)
Unknown Jumping Spiders (Family Salticidae)

You can learn more about the Green Lynx Spider at this post.

Green Lynx Spider

And another critter who occasionally calls my caper bush home – the Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia arabica)!

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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.

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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.

Pepper Spider (2)

Green Lynx Spiders eat a variety of insects – flies, bees, wasps, and butterflies.

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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.

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Each of their egg sacs can contain hundreds of eggs that hatch into cute little spiderlings.

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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.

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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!

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Have you spotted this spider on your wadi wanderings?