Real Life Fantasy: Mirror Spiders

Purple mirror spider on beech leaf; Peter Woodard
Peter Woodard

These stunning spiders may be as close to real-life drafters as we will see in this universe. They have the unique ability to make brilliant reflective plates on their abdomen, using guanine. Even cooler is their ability to make the plates expand and contract at will!

mirror spider, Australia
Nicky Bay

Perhaps it’s appropriate that British entomologist William J Rainbow was the first person to catalogue and describe these surreal, tiny spiders.

We took one look at these clever critters and immediately thought of Andross Guile… Even though they’re kind of the opposite of Andross, in that they’re beautiful and harmless.

Mirror spiders, or Thwaitesia argentiopunctata, live in Australia, and can be found in every state in the country. Ahh, Australia: land of frilled-neck lizards, quokka, and platypus. I mean, where else would they live?

Oh, wait, they’re also in Singapore? UGH, you southern hemisphere folk get all of the fun creatures, don’t you? I suppose it’s a fair trade for having upside-down seasons and your toilets flush backwards.

(I do enjoy a good game of two truths and a lie.)

Most of the images we found were taken by Singapore-based photographer Nicky Bay. For more beautiful images of mirror spiders and other fascinating insects around the world, you can also check out Nicky’s website (link above).

Australia, mirror spider
Robert Whyte

Thank you to our sources, for sharing information about our beautiful world: Australian Geographic, This Is Colossal, & Strange Animals.

mirror spider, Australia
Robert Whyte

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