Flattie Spider ♀

a wall crab spider, Selenopidae, © Michael Plagens

Flat spiders hunt by night and are partial to climbing verticle surfaces. Hide under rocks or in crevices by day.

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Selenopid Spider ♂

a male Selenopidae, © Michael Plagens

Another Flattie Spider, this one a male, apparently. Gray with intricate markings in darker gray.

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Two-tailed Spider

Hersiliidae Spider, probably Holcolaetis, Rift Valley, Kenya © Michael Plagens

Fine silk strands extend outward from the sitting spider. Anything that stumbles over them will triger an attack. Nocturnal.

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Two-tailed Spider #2

a two-tailed spider, Hersiliidae, © Michael Plagens

A nearly invisible web directly against the substrate surrounds a spider that also blends in with camouflage. Two long spinneretes.

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Brown Spider

a brown spider from Eldoret, Loxosceles, © Michael Plagens

This spider makes a loose web in dark areas of building, caves. Violin mark on back. Long legs held flat on surface.

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Celar Spider

Daddy Long Legs Spider, Pholcus phalangioides, from Kitale, Kenya © Michael Plagens

Very, very long legs on a spider that builds an irregular web in and near building or basements.

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House Spider

Common House Spider, Filistatidae, Kenya © Michael Plagens

Large, dull black spiders that use retreats in cracks/gaps of walls in houses. Web appears very white due to fine, hackled threads. Not prone to bite people.

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Funnel Web Spider

Male funnelweb spider, agelenidae, Eldoret, Kenya © Michael Plagens

Uses a flat sheet web to capture insects and hides in a narrowed tunnel at one corner. Males leave webs in search of females. Eight small eyes.

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Black & White Funnel Spider

a boldly marked Agelenidae © Michael Plagens

The spider hides in a crevice with a large funnel web extending outwards. The bold black and white markings on this spider are unique.

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dead stick spider, Uloboridae, , © Michael Plagens

This one does not even look alive ... it plays dead until the predator or disturbance moves on.

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Spiny Orb Weaver

a spiny orb-weaver, Gasteracantha, © Michael Plagens

A colorful spider with conspicuous body armour. Sits at the center of an orb web erected between branches of vegetation.

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Orb Spider

An orb weaving Spider, Rift Valley, Kenya © Michael Plagens

Often hides during day but sits at center of an orb web at night. Many species. Head faces down in this photo.

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Orb Spider #2

an 0rb-weaver spider, possibly Araneus sp., © Michael Plagens

Sits at center of circular orb web by night. Large, mostly uniform gray species.

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Striped Orb-Weaver

green and white Araneidae © Michael Plagens

By day this spider hides under a leaf where the green and white match the leaf.

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Golden Orb Weaver

Jiant Orb Weaving Spider from Malindi, Kenya © Michael Plagens

Very large spiders that spin webs between trees or even across trails or high above a road. Silk very strong and yellow.

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Widow Spider

a widow spider, Latrodectus sp., Theridiidae, © Michael Plagens

Dark brown spider with red hour-glass mark and an irregular web. Hides in crevice during the day.

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Jumping Spider

a male jumping spider, Salticidae, © Michael Plagens

Superb eyesight gives these active spiders abilities to travel and explore. This one's looking for a female.

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Checkered Jumping Spider

A black and white marked Saltiidae, Rift Valley, Kenya © Michael Plagens

This jumping spider was crawling on man-made concrete. Pattern is checkered blac and white.

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Jumping Spider

A Jumping Spider, probably Holcolaetis, Rift Valley, Kenya © Michael Plagens

Jumping Spiders do not use silk webs to catch prey. Instead they have superb eyesight and spring onto their prey and quickly deliver the bite.

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Black & White Jumping Spider

a balck and white jumping spider, Salticidae, from Kitale, © Michael Plagens

This boldly marked salticid was hunting in the leaf litter of a farm plot.

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Silver & Black Jumper

black, white and silver Salticidae, © Michael Plagens

Parts of this spider's marking are reflective and irridescent and might make it difficult to focus on.

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Wolf Spider

an immature wolf spider, Lycosidae, from Eldoret, © Michael Plagens

Four big eyes towards the front of carapace. Runs across soil surface. Mostly nocturnal.

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Wolf Spider #2

wolf spider, Lycosidae, © Michael Plagens

Slowly patrolling ground at night in a seasonally dry woodland without use of a web.

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Savanna Wolf Spider

a wolf spider on soil with sparse turf grass family Lycosidae, © Michael Plagens

This large (18 mm) spider has whitish legs and markings that match sun-bleached stems of grass.

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Pale Wolf Spider

Lycosidae spider, Thomisidae, © Michael Plagens

In areas with light-colored soil, cursorial ground-dwelling spiders also tend to be light-colored.

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Small Wolf Spider

a smaller wolf spider, Lycosidae, © Michael Plagens

A cursorial spider about 12mm long. Narrow cephlothorax.

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Nursery Web Spider

Pisauridae spider, Baringo, © Michael Plagens

These large, fast, running spiders tend to live near water and can even skate across the surface.

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Crab Spider

a flower hunting crab spider, Thomisidae, © Michael Plagens

Sitting on a flower of the same color the spider can ambush a visiting bee or fly. No snare is built.

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Flower Crab Spider

a foliage hunting crab spider, family Thomisidae, © Michael Plagens

Coloration often matches the plant part upon which it sits and waits for flower-visiting prey.

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Bark Crab Spider

a male crab spider, Thomisidae, © Michael Plagens

First two pair of legs are rotated forward and the spider tends to walk sideways like a crab. Hunts w/o a web.

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Sac Spider

A Sac Spider, near Clubionidae, Rift Valley, Kenya © Michael Plagens

Sac spiders spend the day inside a closely woven sac often within a folded leaf. Hunts at night w/o a web.

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Ground Spider

A Sac Spider, near Clubionidae, Rift Valley, Kenya © Michael Plagens

Ground spiders spend the day inside silken retreat on or near the ground. Spinnerets extend posteriorly. Hunts at night w/o a web.

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Harvestmen, Opiliones, © Michael Plagens

These free ranging arachnids do not spin webs and are not venomous. Their super-long legs look improbable, yet this lineage has survived 400 million years.

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Cordia Leaf Gall Mite

mite-cause leaf galls on Clarodendron, Phytoseiidae, © Michael Plagens

Pale, raised blisters on the upper surface of leaves of Clerodendron shrubs. Mites live and feed inside the galls.

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Acanthus Leaf Gall

mite-cause leaf galls on Acanthus, Phytoseiidae, © Michael Plagens

The galls on an Acanthus polystachyus leaf are likely caused by minute mites feeding and reproducing inside the plant tissue.

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Dock Leaf Galls

gall mites on Rumex from Iten © Michael Plagens

These mite galls are bright red partly because chlorophyl is not being produced in the tissue.

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Nettle Gall Mite

mite-cause leaf galls on Urtica, Phytoseiidae, © Michael Plagens

The mite galls on this Urtica leaf are purplish-brown. Stinging nettle has prickles tipped with painful neurotoxins.

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Hibiscus Gall Mite

Eriophyiidae mite-cause leaf galls on Hibiscus, Malvaceaee, © Michael Plagens

The mite galls on this Hibiscus flavifolius leaf are pale green.

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Stephania Gall Mite

galls caused by Phytoseidae, © Michael Plagens

The arachnids that cause these leaf blisters are very small, requiring magnification. They live inside the blisters.

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 2010-2017.

By no means am I an expert on the Natural History of Kenya. I am a novice exploring this part of the World. By creating a page for the species as I encounter them I am teaching myself. If I make errors I expect that a kind person will let me know so that I can make corrections.