Things Getting A Little Creepy ? Wishing You a Happy Halloween !

October 31st, 2010 § 3 comments

Jumping Spider (Araneae salticidae) Photograph ⓒ Tim Geiss at poltergeiss.com

We only look scary! These arachnids are a gardener’s friends. Although some spiders are venomous, most are environmentally beneficial creatures worthy of our respect and protection. Read more about the predatory jumping spider (Araneae Salticidae) —a common ‘guest’ in houses—  and the soil-dwelling red velvet mite ( Acari Trombidiidae) by clicking on the name of each spider. For help identifying North American spiders, check out the very interesting spideridentification.org or the arachnid page on whatsthatbug.com.

Predatory Red Velvet Mite (Arachnida Acari Trombidiidae sp) Photograph ⓒ Tim Geiss at poltergeiss.com

Jumping Spider (Araneae salticidae) Photograph ⓒ Tim Geiss at poltergeiss.com

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Spider Photographs ⓒ Tim Geiss at Poltergeiss.com

Article ⓒ Michaela at TGE

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§ 3 Responses to Things Getting A Little Creepy ? Wishing You a Happy Halloween !"

  • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Are these the same red spider mites which can become a problem on house plants, or are they just getting a bad rap?

  • Michaela says:

    @ Deb – Hello there! Good question. No, these are not the same. Although sap-sucking spider mites are also in the Acrachnida and Acari (mite) class, they are in a separate family called Tetranychidae. The sap sucking spider mites are much harder to see than the soil-dwelling velvet spider mites. And where-as the sap-suckers are garden pests, the predatory mites (including the velvet spider mites) are beneficial; feeding on the sap-sucking mites as well as thrips and other pests. Sap-sucking spider mites are also found in colonies on plants, where as the predators are usually solitary and often found on the ground in leaf-litter.
    Thanks for the great question!
    Michaela

  • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    No, thank you for making me feel a lot better about my beautiful little red velvet friends! Every now and again, I find them on my firewood, so I won’t feel guilty about rescuing them anymore.

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