Two or three species of spider are endemic to salt lakes in Western Australia. Commonly called Salt Lake Spiders or Salt Lake Wolf Spiders. They include Lycosa alteripa and Lycosa eyrie.
While camping & metal detecting for gold nuggets in the Yalgoo Goldfields of Western Australia, my brother & I were accompanied by Janine Guenther and Jens Mohr, well known German authors & publishers of several superb books on Australian travel, flora & fauna. I have Janine to thank for the great photos of the Salt Lake Spider.
It was the end of summer & the water had evaporated leaving a thick crust of pure white glistening salt crystals over the surface of the lake (Sunglasses were a must). I had heard about salt lake spiders but none of us had ever seen one.
With salt crunching under foot and my inexperience with my new AT Pro detector, causing a constant loud crackling noise in my headphones, optimistically I waved its coil close to the surface of the lake. I first noticed a dead, mummified lizard and thought to myself “Nothing could live here” then I was startled by a sudden movement of something on the salt in front of me. A small creature, alien like, stopped me dead in my tracks, with its aggressive, animated body language.
While standing its ground and looking me defiantly in the eye, it stood up and threw its front legs, like arms up in the air, waving at me to stop me from proceeding. When I poked toward it with the detector it leaped twenty or thirty centimetres (12in) and grabbed onto the coil.
I do not suffer from Arachnophobia and little guys don’t usually scare me, but this one certainly startled me and I quickly flicked it off. Later we found a web covered entrance to a burrow in the salt covered mud, presumably the ‘nest’ of the Hairy, Scary, Salt Lake Spider.
.....before you ask "No I did not find any gold on that particular trip"
For photos of the Salt Lake Spider http://beachcomber-contractor.weebly...detecting.html