A fiercely protective female green lynx spider, Peucetia viridans, stands guard on her nest. This one had chosen a fruiting cluster of seedbox, Ludwigia alternifolia, in which to weave her saclike structure. The females are big spiders. Her body is nearly an inch in length, and throw in the legspan and you've got an animal that would pretty much cover a silver dollar. You'd notice this thing if you felt the tickle of one crawling up your arm.
We found this spider and several others of its species in a bramble patch in an open longleaf pine flatwoods bordering the Okefenokee Swamp in south Georgia. I had never seen a green lynx spider before, but figured that it must be some type of lynx spider as soon as I clapped eyes on the beast. We've got a much smaller species in Ohio, the common lynx spider, Oxyopes salticus, and it is widespread and often abundant. It too is colorful and has impressively spined legs.
Note all of the spiderlings surrounding mom. If nothing too big and menacing happens by, they're probably in good hands. As I moved in close for these shots, the female spider would move with me and even seem to make hostile advances. Lynx spiders are active hunters, stalking the shrubs and attacking prey. They use those formidable spines that armor their legs to snare and box in their victims; sort of an Iron Maiden embrace of doom.
To my eyes, the green lynx spider is an impressive, good-looking arachnid. I'm glad that I was able to spend some quality time with these brutish animals.
I am a lifelong Ohioan who has made a study of natural history since the age of eight or so - longer than I can remember! A fascination with birds has grown into an amazement with all of nature, and an insatiable curiosity to learn more. One of my major ambitions is to get more people interested in nature. The more of us who care, the more likely that our natural world will survive.
Unless specifically noted, all photos used on this blog are by Jim McCormac, and are my property. If you are interested in the use of any of these photos, please contact me at jimmccormac35 AT gmail DOT com. I am generally fine with loaning photos for educational or non-commercial uses, but please ask! It is a bit disconcerting - and annoying - to see one's photos appear without credit elsewhere on the Internet.
Most of the recent photos on this blog were made with a Canon 5D Mark III. At present, I use three lenses with the Canon: a 100 mm macro L-series; a 17-40mm wide-angle L-series; and a Sigma 150-500. Many older photos used on this blog were shot with a Panasonic FZ50, which is a high-end point and shoot and an awesome camera. That model has been discontinued. I still love my Panasonic and will use it until it gives up the ghost. Other photos were taken with a Nikon D7000,or a Canon T3i. I also have a Nikon Coolpix P510 point & shoot, which is a remarkably versatile camera with awesome zoom power (42x) that holds up very well. Finally, I've got a GoPro Hero, which is fully waterproof and can be used for underwater work. Sometimes I even use the camera or video feature on my Droid X smartphone - it's amazing how good phone cameras have become.