Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sticky feet

Spiders love my kitchen sink. And my bathtub. Maybe they're looking for water, but these are not safe places for them. Mornings, I find them there, scrabbling away at the bottom, trying to climb the damp walls. They can't make it, and I help them, draping a dishcloth or towel over the edge so they can climb out.

Today, though, I found this one very peacefully exploring the sides of the bathtub, never slipping or falling. I wonder about her feet; they look hairy. In some of my photos (blurry, except for a foot or two) they seem to be bifurcated, with two "toes". Are they stickier than most of the other resident spiders' feet, I wonder?

Brown spider, about 1/4 inch long, not counting the legs.

I found an interesting article on Mother Nature Network, titled, "The odd, adorable mystery of hairy spider feet".
"About half of the spider families have claw tufts. These animals usually have only two claws at the tips of their legs, and are usually hunting spiders, who pursue their prey," Platnick says. "Web-building spiders typically have three claws; the two paired claws, like those found in hunting spiders, plus a third, smaller, unpaired claw that helps them maneuver on their silk threads."
...
"The claw tufts of these spiders provide additional adhesive properties, making it easier for the animals to climb," Platnick says. "For example, many tarantulas can even climb up glass, despite their relatively heavy weight."

Here's one of my very blurry foot photos:

A bit hairy, and it seems that it's two-toed.



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