One of my favourite spiders here is an Australian invader. Officially known as the Australian ground spider Nyssus coloripes (formerly Supunna picta), but at Crazy Corner Farm, we invented a more colourful name, the rocket spider.
Rocket spiders have colourful orange front legs and white spots down their sides, making them stand out wherever they are.
They are in a group of spiders known as the fleet-footed spiders, and they are most definitely that. They are active daytime hunters, and race around as though they are rocket-propelled.
There is a female rocket spider who lives in my office. She’s been there for the better part of a year now, and zips over my bookshelves, desk, and walls as I work. She’s not shy—I sometimes have to shoo her off the keyboard, and once she skittered across my face.
I’m sure the rocket spider finds plenty of flies to eat in my office, but these spiders have unusual tastes. Though rocket spiders don’t build webs to catch food, I’ve seen them in the webs of Australian orb weavers—eating the orb weaver.
It’s a spider eat spider world, after all.