Webnesday (9)

As August was drawing to a close, I was meandering around outside our cabin, concen-trating on the few sumac leaves whose vascular systems had been compromised by some means or other and were already changing color toward their legendary, blazing autumn brilliance (see the third photo of my August 31 post).  As I looked closely at one small branch, I noticed a tiny movement and was rewarded with a good view of a very tiny tan jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus) that was slowly making its way up the main stem.

Platycryptus undatus 3580Platycryptus undatus 3595I could see a small insect (probably a Texas long-legged fly or a close relative) resting on a leaf a foot or so higher than the spider’s position.  I settled down to wait patiently and watch, and my wait was very nicely rewarded.  The spider reached the base of the right branch, ventured out, and spotted and stalked the fly, verrry slowly and stealthfully.

Platycryptus undatus stalking 3616I was actually ready and poised to do fire a burst when the jump came, but at the last minute it happened so fast that I missed the action.  I was, however, able to get one final shot as it settled down on the underside of the leaf with its prey.  Certainly a serenely self-satisfied little spider!

A successful hunt 3617(Please click on an individual photo if you’d like to see a higher-resolution image.)

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About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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12 Responses to Webnesday (9)

  1. wolke205 says:

    Jetzt hast s mich soweit… Nein ich mag immer noch keine Spinnen… aber Himmel schaut das kleine Ding süß in die Kamera…und dann noch die überkreuzten Beinchen! Was für ein Foto :) Liebe Grüße

  2. kerryl29 says:

    Terrific macro work! I’m particularly enamored with the third shot in the series.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks very much, Kerry! Toward the end the little hunter was advancing by about 2 mm every 10 seconds or so and it took her about 3 minutes to get from the stem of the leaf, where she first spotted the insect, until she was in the position she’s gained in the photo. I would have had to hold the shutter down for a minute or so, to give me one shot of her in the actual jump among the 360 or so frames, and by then my battery was low. Next time?

  3. Mike Powell says:

    Amazing action shots. I’ve seen a few jumping spiders, but I have never seen one actually hunting a prey. Macro shooting is tough on static subjects. It’s almost impossible to imagine shooting moving subjects in macro mode.

    • krikitarts says:

      Yeah, it is a real challenge, all right. I’ve watched them catch prey maybe a half-dozen times, but this was the closest I’ve ever gotten to catching the action. I’m amazed by some of the photos I’ve seen in mid-jump. There’s a whole lot of luck involved, I’m afraid.

  4. Finn Holding says:

    Them spiders are just too rapid. I’ve missed lots of arachnid action because I’m just not quick enough, great to watch though

    • krikitarts says:

      There are times when some slow down to reasonable activity, and they can be great fun to try to catch. It’s quite a bit different from finding a comfortable spot and waiting for the object of your affection with your telephoto lens. For me at least, it’s well worth the patience and the gyrations one must occasionally go through. Yup, great to watch for sure!

  5. Adrian Lewis says:

    All of these pictures are good, Gary, but that top one is a real portrait, looks like some alien monster – and a level up from my recent House Spider shot I think! Good stuff! Adrian

    • krikitarts says:

      That’s my favorite too, Adrian. It’s hard to imagine how tiny this little guy really was, and I consider myself quite lucky that I was able to get this detail, especially since, at this point, it was moving around fairly quickly. It took me a while to un-kink my spine, knees, and muscles after the session.

  6. Meanderer says:

    I very much like the first image. What a wonderful little spider.

  7. krikitarts says:

    I’m so glad that you do! I’m not sure what first prompted my special interest in spiders–wait, yes I do! It was dew on an orb web and a TV special on spiders that I saw many years ago. And I’ve been ensnared ever since.

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