A day spent with spider experts as "the Swarm"

Today was an exciting day spent with spider experts Jeremy Wilson and Mark Harvey. They showed us how to find trapdoor spider burrows. A key tip given was to look on the embankments of riverbeds, above the waterline and in softer soil. The two types of spiders found were the Brush-footed Trapdoor Spiders (Barychelidae) and Saddle-legged Trapdoor Spider (Conothele). An interesting distinction between the two were the types of doors each spider had. The Brush-footed burrows had a door that was quite thick, and with a concave shape to it (see picture), while the Saddle-legged burrow door was quite thin. Both doors were no bigger than a 10 cent coin. Once you knew what to look for, they were much easier to spot.

After Trapdoor Spider hunting, we moved on the next site – the amazing Grevillea Gorge. Unfortunately, something punctured our tire, so we did a much-needed refresher on changing a flat. Our simple machine came out and we got to work. Handy tip for when you are old enough to drive - loosen the nuts on the flat tire BEFORE using the jack to lift the wheel up!

After working in the hot sun (around 32 degrees) for about 40 minutes, we were rewarded with a very cold swim at the base of Grevillea Gorge (named after the Grevillea genus of plant). While it was not a productive day of field work, it was an amazing time spent absorbing the beautiful scenery the Kimberley has to offer.