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Some Internet sources claim that as many as 55 % of females and 18 % of males are estimated to experience arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, here in the Western hemisphere. Hmm.

We had people staying recently who were phobic, even paranoid about ants; they considered our place to be rather filthy. However, I am glad that here in Mallorca we have ants, insects, snails, spiders, geckos, even mice and rats, and I would consider it unnatural or certainly strange to live in a place where small creatures, such as insects, beetles, fleas, flies, mites, wasps, ants and bugs could not exist any longer. Somehow, I believe that our island is still relatively intact in terms of biodiversity, and I am happy about that state of natural conservation here in Mallorca.

I always get excited whenever I see such a small creature from a close range. Often the encounter is one of great frustration simply because I may not have my camera on the ready, or the insect, snail or whatever, moves away too quickly, or perhaps, the photo does not turn out to be any good. The spider shown (above) may be a Alopecosa cuneata from the Lycosidae (Wolf Spider) family, but I cannot be certain. The image below shows another Balearic Wolf Spider, this time a male Trochosa terricola.

The photo (top) was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain, by Kyrian Moses Fabricius, my son. Luckily, he shares some of my weird fixations of matters of botany and biology, such as spiders. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of the Spiders of Europe and Greenland website and its photographer, Jørgen Lissner. If you check his website, you’ll be surprised about the wealth of information on spiders and arachnids, complete with images. A total of 5016 photos of 732 species of spiders are currently archived by Jørgen Lissner, which left me thoroughly amazed, impressed and grateful.

Thank you very much.

4 replies »

    • Hello Magda,
      I have not seen any spider nests on trees near the coast of Mallorca. I think there aren’t any. What you are probably referring to are white snowball size nests of pine processionary caterpillars (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) on pine trees. They are a bit of a plague here in Mallorca. Pine processionary caterpillars are protected by fine hairs which are highly irritating to the skin of humans or dogs. Contact with the hairs of the caterpillar can cause severe rashes (urticaria) and eye irritation. Carefully; it is best to avoid any direct contact.

      • Thank you for your reply :). I have already found out about this… and was terrified, because we came very very close to these creepy crawlies 🙂 . They would not discourage us though from visiting Mallorca. We loved the island and definitely will be coming back!! Thank you again for your help.

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September 2010


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