Ghost Spider - Happy Halloween!

Punggol Park Connector
North-East, Singapore
October 2012

This Neoscona Punctigera (Ghost Spider) was spotted stationary on a leaf along the Punggol Park Connector. Belonging to the Orb-Weaver (Araneidae) family, it is from the Neoscona genus which has a characteristic longitudinal groove on the carapace which separates all species of Neoscona from species of Araneus (Wikipedia 2012).

Merlion Wayfarer has no idea why this spider has such an Halloween-themed name, but here are some clues:
  • For a start, it definitely does not look like a spider, especially with its bent-legged yoga pose.The carapace is M-shaped; It looks like two coconut husks joined together.
  • There are spots on its back which glow in the dark.
  • The black bands on its legs reflect light too.
  • Its deceptive colour signalling and body spot colouration visually lures prey.
  • It is a nocturnal sit-and-wait predator.
  • The spider is so full of "spikes" that it looks like a chestnut.

Being a nocturnal predator, it constructs its web at night, shortly after sunset and removes the web next morning. During the day, it hides among the leaves. When at rest, it assumes a shape that looks like a monkey and that's why it is also known as "monkey spider". Hmm...

The full albums are available at: