Museum natural scientists were fortunate to spend time with spider expert Astri Leroy and her husband John (an excellent macro photographer). A visit to Kap River Nature Reserve (along the western banks of the Fish River, Eastern Cape) produced a great variety of spider species and most intriguing was the velvet spider find and even more exciting a trapdoor spider. Being in the field with passionate and committed naturalists is always a treat and loads of information was shared, including how to capture spiders humanely, photograph them and how to enjoy these little creatures!
The field trip aimed to increase the knowledge base of spiders in the region and to sample different habitat types in the hope of finding new species.
Astri and John Leroy have published a book called ‘Spiders of southern Africa’. This very informative guide is illustrated with superb photographs and is worth taking along into the field.