Spider Disguising as Bird Poop: Crappy Yet Effective Camouflage

With its colour pattern resembling a bird dropping, the Bird Dropping Spider (Celaenia excavata) has been named as the master of camouflage. Sometimes, it is also called the Death’s Head spider because of its supposed resemblance to a skull.

It is hard to mistake this spider with its large size, distinctive colour pattern and resting posture. It would definitely look like a bird dung to the untrained eye. It has a broad, rectangular-shaped abdomen, a concave midline and a pair of roughened humps towards the rear. Its legs are often held folded against its body.

This photo was sent by someone wanting to identify the freakish crab-like looking spider they found in a home in Yarrabilba (south of Brisbane).

This photo was sent by someone wanting to identify the freakish crab-like looking spider they found in a home in Yarrabilba, Queensland, Australia.

It can often be found in the open woodlands. Its diet consists mostly of male moths as they are attracted by the Bird Dropping spider’s deceiving pheromone. In order to capture its prey, it uses some sort of mimicry. At night, this spider hangs from the edge of a twig or a leaf with its legs outstretched, all the while, releasing a chemical scent, called pheromone, that imitates the sex pheromone produced by female moths. This explains why male moths are its usual victims.

This photo was sent by someone wanting to identify the freakish crab-like looking spider they found in a home in Yarrabilba (south of Brisbane).

This photo was sent by someone wanting to identify the freakish crab-like looking spider they found in a home in Yarrabilba, Queensland Australia.

Despite its large size, it sits huddled on a leaf or tip of a twig during the day. It constructs a web to suspend egg cases out in the open deceiving prospective predators that they’re bird dung.

Their bites are not really considered dangerous. However, if there is pain or swelling, a cold pack can be applied to the affected area. Nonetheless, it is still a good idea to have a complete pest inspection to make your home free of spiders and other dangerous pests.