Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Is this a metaphor for something or what?
Photo from Solitary Bees and Things
Clinging to the cyclone wire that separates the service road from the South Luzon Expressway was a neon green crab spider. It stood out over the rusty cyclone wire fence. Crab spiders have always been my favorite spider. When I was a kid, I use to catch them for spider-fighting with the other kids' spiders. They pack quite a wallop with their disproportionately large front legs. And they look so odd, with their bright colors and sometimes spikes on their abdomens. They also come in red, pink, and ghostly white, but this one was the color of a yellow-green Stabilo highlight pen.
You know right away that that spider was marked for elimination. It's just too gaudy, too flamboyant, to be hanging out there on the cyclone wire fence. I mean, I was able to spot it from quite a ways off. A predator would be able to do the same. It isnt as unobtrusive as a jumping spider, for instance. Jumping spiders come in drab gray or brown.
Im sure that crab spider didnt want to be there. It probably just landed there as a baby, slowly borne by winds after hatching. It couldnt have picked a poorer place to land. That area near the Magallanes toll plaza isnt exactly teeming with life. Crab spiders were meant to live in places that thrive with color. Crab spiders were meant to be with flowers. That's why theyre colored that way. Theyd hide out among the flowers, their four front legs extended and outstretched. Then if some unlucky insect came to land among the flowers for a sip of nectar, theyd slowly circle, then pounce. It spins no webs, no traps. It relies on sheer athleticism like its cousin the jumping spider.
It isnt its fault it's a pretty creature that stands out among the drabness. But it'll die soon. Prey insects would be able to see it easily and will stay away. Some bird will have it for a snack. Probably a eurasian tree sparrow. It's too pretty to be where it is. That probably made it happy for a while, being the cutest arachnid on the block, but soon it'll realize that all this cuteness won't get it anywhere. Maybe that's why it's hanging out there on the cyclone wire fence. It'll display its prettiness one last time before it dies.