"Like a Blade of Grass" Long-Jawed Orb-Weaver Spider Stretched Out On a Leaf at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve in Chilliwack BC 24Jun2011
These narrow spiders--shall we say the high-fashion models of the arachnid world?--can easily hide on a blade of grass and go completely unnoticed by passers-by.
This Long-jawed Orb-weaver, Genus Tetragnatha (tetra referring to "four" and gnatha to "jaws"), has translucent areas on the legs that allow the background colour to pass through, providing some camouflage. Members of this genus have very long chelicerae, and some species have them so big that they are reminiscent of a praying mantid's oversized forelegs. The claw, or better termed the "fang," takes on the form of a very long hypodermic-like needle, folded back in a jack-knife manner against the heavier mandible in a combination with much strength and long reach. Very useful for catching prey. The prominent chelicerae, combined with equally noticeable palps, makes it seem like the spider has four jaws, hence the scientific name. The two shots I have here unfortunately do not show off the mandibles well, and this particular species does not have the highly exaggerated chelicerae that appear in some.
I am not sure exactly what species this is: Could be T. obtusa or perhaps T. montana.
A photo from yesteryear: I am going through some of my images from 2011.