Cyrtarachne inaequalis

What a cute and unusual thing to find — a natural smiley in the forest!! I couldn’t decide what it was at first as it was only about 8mm across. I was just thinking it might be a young snail when it suddenly dropped off the leaf on a silk thread. Oh, a spider!! It’s a kind of orb-weaver spider and its Japanese name means that it looks like a bird dropping. It should be called the Smiley Spider instead.

Cyrtarachne inaequalisCyrtarachne inaequalis

Arachnida: Araneidae
Cyrtarachne inaequalis
orb-weaver spider (lit. “bird dropping spider”) = oo-tori-no-fun-damashi

Location: Yokoyama Village near Munakata Common (Google map link)