BENGALURU: Bengalureans of all age groups delved into the natural history, adaptations and behaviour of spiders through the spider walk on October 20. Veena Kapoor, who works with the Nature Conservation Foundation, led the walk from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath.She gave the participants some easy and fun tips about how one can identify some common spider groups based on some key characteristics and observations.
Participants observed some spiders in various micro-habitats they call home. Some of the species found during the walk were Hunting Spider, Stalker Spider, Deceiver and Cheater, Mimicry Spider, Camouflage Spider, Fishing Spider, Spitting Spider and so on.
However, the nocturnal Net Casting Spider was an interesting watch. They digest their retinas at night as they are extremely sensitive to light and regrow them the next morning. Meanwhile, the Huntsmen Spider was equally interesting as they prey on cockroaches.
Children were the most inquisitive participants as they had dozens of questions for Kapoor. They showed great enthusiasm and wondered why they never saw various species of spiders before.
Kapoor started looking at spiders about 20 years back when she stumbled upon slides with images of various spiders and spider books during her first job in Chennai. She was completely hooked when she was shown the web of a tent web spider that resided in the office garden. “A four-year stint in Valparai to work on a long-term rainforest restoration programme gave me an opportunity to document some rainforest spiders and figure out if there were a few species that could be used as indicators of habitat quality for that landscape.”