[Week 41 – 9 Oct] The Twirls of A Cat Marking

Title is misleading – but for a purpose!

I decided to stop self pitying and just tackle this head on and start blogging again, regardless if I do end up anywhere with identifications or not.

[Log Wednesday 9th, October, 2019]


Went for a usual midnight walk and realized a corner of the house was being cleaned up. I pinned that corner with the possibility of finding a specific spider species (as a breeding ground) from the family order Filistatidae. I actually have never come across them before 2019 (just how?!). I think it goes back to that I have never really understood how the webs were interwoven and never took notice till I had someone whom I met recently point it out for me.

Curiosity pulled me to that corner & I found the Filistatidae just fine. Was hoping to find the male version, but kept finding some young’uns females.

What I found most interesting was a quite decomposed bird .. unfortunately could not identify from plumage, but I am assuming a Purple Sunbird. I am still doubting with my identification, as the dorsal plumage is more of olive-color than grey which is more apparent in Sunbirds. I actually liked the fact I found another Filistatidae female taking full advantage of the dead body as shown in the image below (spider went into hiding). The spider is apparent in the video below.

When I noticed the bird, our cat Cleo suddenly appeared and started marking me and rubbing my feet … which disrupted my observation of the situation. This led me to cut my stay short and couldn’t observe for as long as I liked in that corner. She is a sweetheart — but having that dead bird around worried me as she would be interested in sniffing and registering the smells. That corner is a spider hive, and afraid they may go on a defensive mode if she goes sniffing around.

Before I was shooed away unwillingly, I managed to spot other spiders of interest, especially this lady!

I have seen it several times, but was never able to properly look at it because I lacked the identification keys of identifying a Recluse. After I followed user @RecluseOrNot? on Twitter, the team honestly gave me a good start where to look at for identification from other people sightings, esp Recluses. I used to freak out whenever I come across this specific spider, but it is nothing to worry about, as they turned out to be from family Gnaphosidae, and subfamily Prodidominae.

The males of this species seems to find their way inside the house a lot, especially bathtubs for some reason.

The species I came across on 9 Oct was quite a chubby one with spinnerets. Notes I received from others to eliminate the the possibility of it being a recluse:  
– eyes arrangement is different
– palps are different looking in recluse
– spines in legs (absent in Recluse)
The reason why I have always thought why it could be a recluse is because similar morphology keeps on appearing on google searches:

I know there is a huge morphology difference, but the one I have photographed on that night appeared more white than usual due to flashing. It is usually more brownish-beige in the head/thorax (cephalothorax) area with white abdomen. Those are old photos I had in my camera roll of the male & female version:

I will now keep a better eye out for these species and hopefully take better identification grade shots in the future. I have seen males lurking around, but they were much faster than the female and Chelo did not really allow me to take pictures … *sniffs* (pun intended).

I may have seen other species of other spiders and possibly a mayfly in that corner .. it is worth visiting again.

I just hope to avoid Chleo, as she is able to sniff miles away!

Those are some videos I shot: