Home > Uncategorized > Why is that Spider Dancing? The Amazing Arachnids of Aotearoa by Simon Pollard and Phil Sirvid. Pub. Te Papa Press, 2021

Why is that Spider Dancing? The Amazing Arachnids of Aotearoa by Simon Pollard and Phil Sirvid. Pub. Te Papa Press, 2021

November 21, 2021

This excellent non fiction work on spiders and other Arachnids begins with a photograph from the point of view of a fly that is about to be eaten and announces how important photographs are going to be in this book. And they are. Every type of spider is photographed as are their body parts and habitat.

Spiders have been around for about 400 million years and in Aotearoa 1200 species of spider have been identified and there are at least a further 800 others. This book concentrates on NZ spiders and the Avondale spider has become a film star after appearing in the film Arachnophobia. Spiders have also appeared in children’s literature eg Robyn Kahukiwa’s Kuia and the Spider and Charlotte’s Web.

The spiders NZers are most familiar with are the poisonous Katipo and the white tail which lives around and in our homes. Although many people have a fear of spiders they are extremely important in the environment because they eat nearly 800 tons of insects per year.

You will meet many different spiders in this publication but the weirdest is the Bird-dropping spider which looks like a bird dropping on a leaf but smells like a perfume from a female moth. Male moths are attracted and devoured.

A very classy publication for spider freaks and others. Primary, Intermediate and senior students have much to learn and enjoy from this book.

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