Status: Not Listed, but has the potential of becoming threatened!
Meet the incredibly charismatic Happy Face Spider (Theridion grallator)who has one major reason to be smiling – he lives in Hawaii! Being in a place with warm weather, ocean water that makes you feel like you’re in a bathtub, and unique wildlife would make me a happy camper too.
In Hawaii, these spiders are given the name “nananana makaki’i” which simply means Face-Patterned Spider. This name does fit this species better than ‘Happy face Spider’ since not all members share the distinctive markings. Shown below are some examples of what the pattern on the abdomen can look like:
Oddly enough, these spiders are part of the same family as the infamous Black Widow spider. Luckily, Happy Face Spiders do not share the venom toxicity of their close relatives. I know I’m the one smiling about that!