Day 2- Hunting Spiders

Wednesday 15/05/13

Today I spent the day with Dr Mark Harvey from the WA museum digging up Spiders in the Ranges, and Marina Cheng who spent the day whacking bushes with a stick to knock small bugs into her net. It was another cloudy and occasionally rainy day but we found quite a few cool things.

We dug up many burrows in the soil and collected a total of 9 spiders, 1 female trapdoor spider, 1 very colourful wolf spider and a juvenile Aname spider which is another ancient type of trapdoor related spider. It is different to the more recently evolved spiders because it has 4 book lungs on the underside of their abdomen while the more recent ones only have 2.

I also found 2 new scorpion specimens under the bark of a tree which was quite cool. I saw a dingo, some bagworms – which are caterpillars in silken sack on trees full of their poo. I also helped spot 2 burrows which ended up having 2 different geckos in them. We also saw some beautiful big Desert Oaks and termites eating their cones. After we returned to camp I helped record and preserve the specimens.

Tomorrow I will be having an interview with ABC Canberra Radio 666 and then spending the day out with the Botanists out in the far north west of the property in the West MacDonnell Ranges which requires a 30 hour helicopter ride to get to. And the Totally Wild crew will probably be coming out there too.