The Charismatic Spider

Spider Charismatic

Hawaii has always been reminisced for its heavenly coasts, delightful islands, breathtaking palm groves, the surf, the sand and the sun. But not often we get a chance to see some extra-ordinary creatures of this tropical paradise like this spider which challenges the dangerous and unsafe reputation of spiders all over the world. You can’t help but smile when you notice its markings of a happy face. They are undeniably stunning!

This is ‘Theridion grallator spider’ known as the ‘hawaii happy face spider’. This is a unique specimen of the spider family that has a special message to convey to the world ‘don’t worry, just be happy!

It is just 5 millimeters long and has a very strange resemblance to a smiley face or a clown face etched on its body. The inheritance of such patterns and colors seems to be sex-limited, that females are yellow and males are red. These distinguished patterns help them to camouflage against birds. Their patterns keep changing according to what food they have eaten. It feeds on fleas and other small organisms that get caught up in its web.

They like to play hide and seek, ideally not to become the victims of their predators. They live mostly beneath the leaves of plants and spin their webs. They hunt mainly during the evenings and are found in the islands of Hawaii in rainforests at great elevations of 300–2,000 m (980–6,600 ft.).

They say all good things have to come to an end. These beautiful creatures are facing the threat of extinction due to deforestation and the menace of non-native creatures. Sad but true!

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