Spider Sunday: Sac Spider

The second spider in my Spider Sunday series is the sac spider (Clubiona). People sure know how to name a spider! Sac spiders make a sac-like retreat, often around leaves (leaves curl up to form a sac). This particular spider was hiding in a hole in a wall. The first time I came across one, I saw it feeding on a beetle. The second time I must have triggered it when leaning on the wall, because out of nowhere a giant (well, for Dutch standards at least 😉 ) spider comes out of the hole. I must admit, I was surprised, because it looked weird with its gangly legs. Perhaps it looked like that because it was confined to such a small space for some time? In any case, it took awhile for me to figure out what spiders they were. Luckily, I came across a website that featured a spider just like the one I saw. It definitely pointed me in the right direction, although I’m not 100% sure which particular species it is. This because I did not get a clear picture of the abdomen (markings on the abdomen are used to differentiate between species) and because ‘my’ spiders are somewhat lighter in colour than other pictures I have seen. My guess is that it is either a Common sac spider (Clubiona reclusa) or a Yellow sac spider (Clubiona lutescens).

Sac spiders are common over the world and are hunters. This means that they don’t build webs, but actively search for food. They only make a sac to retreat in and to lay their eggs in. I suspect that the beetle was a cereal leaf beetle, which can become a pest for crops of wheat, cereal, rye and other grasses. In that way, by snacking on this beetle, the spider is actually doing a good deed. Although the beetle might disagree…

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