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Nocturnal spider - Badumna longinqua

Nocturnal spider - Badumna longinqua
Alameda County, California, USA
February 20, 2010
Size: ~3/8 in., 10 mm
Hanging in web on outside of garage door, night. Absent in daytime. Easily scared by camera sounds.

Images of this individual: tag all
Nocturnal spider - Badumna longinqua Nocturnal spider - Badumna longinqua

Moved from Spiders.

Badumna longiqua...
certainly seems reasonable to me as well. I lightened it in photoshop so the pattern would be more visible.

What kind of web
are they supposed to spin? In daylight, I've always found them in small webs (e.g., a concave web on one surface of a two-inch leaf), not like this one at all, or in no web.

Badumna web -
The web consists of a retreat with numerous sheets, radiating at various angles and made of loose ladderlike mesh. [Spiders of North America - pg. 93]

Well, for the texture, ladderlike mesh is descriptive enough, but the whole web was made against a flat vertical surface, not allowing for sheets radiating anywhere but downward. The retreat was at the top.

Sounds about right
If you are saying the web was flat but messy, that sounds about right. The image given in the book shows that the outside edges on the long side are fairly straight.

Hard to do this without pictures
I'm saying the web was flat because it was built on a flat surface, unlike, say, a tree, which provides anchor points for sections of web that occupy different planes. So if "sheets radiating at various angles" means a three-dimensional web, this isn't it. The web hung down from the retreat, as if you'd tacked a handkerchief by one corner to a wall and let it drape--so the angles in the single (vertical) plane weren't very various, either. I'm not sure there was more than one sheet of web. The web was messy in the sense that it was made of short strands, far apart and going in all different random-looking directions.

When I've found B's in the daytime, they were out in the open or sheltering in little webs not much longer than themselves, and no web like this one was in sight.

I agree it is hard to say. I think we can probably move this to Badumna longiqua for now. If we learn more about this type of spider and it turns out to be something new we will know where to find it.

I would consider Badumna longiqua...
Your property seems to be pretty teeming with them (based on past submissions). This is a nice habitus shot, by the way!

I did consider it
because this spider looks something like them. There are some differences, though. This specimen has )( markings that the B's don't. It was in an entirely different kind of web. When frightened, it hid (not very well) next to the nearest protrusion from the wall, with its legs extended partway--that's what you see in the frontal photo. The B's, when observed, stay in place with their forelegs in front of their faces.

Some of these differences might be due to day versus night behavior, I suppose. Does that seem plausible?

Well I'm no expert on spider species personalities and behavior and such (I only know what I've seen or read)... but you could be right about the nocturnal vs. diurnal behavior. Something that also comes to my mind is whether or not the spider thought it should be ready to protect itself or ready to pounce on some prey. I would think that having the legs fully splayed out would be a better way to feel the minute vibrations of would-be prey... while pulling the legs up close and over its face, is definitely a defensive move. And don't forget that despite their many eyes, most spiders can't really see anything at all! Especially the web making spiders. So when they get 'startled', chances are you've touched one of the web strings or you've created a slight change in the wind, etc... And then the spider will react accordingly based on any perceived threat. So I'd say that the spider in your photos was more curious and unsure of what was going on and was probably expecting an insect to be moving around the web... so it stayed 'at attention'.

Have you see this yet?

I hadn't seen that page. Interesting that not all the spiders there and on similar sites are IDed to species, any more than they are at BG!

The spider retreated to shelter. This looked like a defensive move to me. It couldn't go anywhere else without crossing a large open surface. Although this doesn't show in the cropped photo, the spider seemed to be hiding under some of its web rather than standing on the web, alert for prey. They may not see much, but I'll bet they can detect camera flash. Apparently the nocturnal ones don't like it. I stalked three spiders last night, and this was the only one that allowed a decent shot.

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