This falls in the "things of beauty" category. I look at this and think of my wife and daughters who scream and yell bloody murder at the sight of the most eensy, weensy spider - but this arachnid makes you smile instead. How cool is that?
Also, as you'll see the spider is also a reminder to the plight of native species who have been crowded out by many non-native ones causing the happy face spider to face extinction:
> Watch a short video of the spider.
The spider, which measures just a few millimeters across, has developed strange markings similar to the appearance of a smiling face. Scientists think that theridion grallator, which is harmless to humans, has evolved the patterns to confuse predators.
It is under-threat of extinction in the rainforests of the Hawaiian island chain in the Pacific...from the introduction of animals not native to the islands.
Dr Geoff Oxford, a spider expert from the University of York, said: "I must admit when I turned over the first leaf and saw one it certainly brought a smile to my face.
Dr Oxford, who has been studying the spiders since 1993, said that the unusual markings of the arachnid had made them a symbol of all of Hawaii's threatened wildlife.
"They are ambassadors for all the threatened invertebrates, insects and spiders on Hawaii," he said. (from London's Daily Telegraph)
> Learn more about Theridion grallator (the happy face spider)