Webnesday (10): Black-footed beauty (or beastie?)

It’s been four months since my last Webnesday post.  I thought I’d have to wait a lot longer than this for my next arachnid offering, but just the other night, as I was crawling into bed and reached for my glass of water, I saw that one of our most common ones, a black-footed or yellow sac spider (Cheiracanthium mildiae), had been waiting in the wings—well, okay, in a fold of the curtains—for a screen test.  Of course, I was only happy to give it the chance to see how it would look through the camera, so I quietly re-donned a modicum of garb, tiptoed out of the room, sprinted to get the camera and the tripod, and tiptoed back.  It was still there and and was content to wait patiently while I set up for a few different angles and degrees of proximity.

Yellow sac spider 6646Yellow sac spider 6648Yellow sac spider 6657The name “yellow sac” comes from their protective web.  They don’t build a web to catch prey, but are active hunters; they spin a small web quite similar to a one-person bivouac tent that a mountain climber might use and rest within its protection, usually in a corner where a wall meets a ceiling.  This diffuses their form and makes them more difficult to see.  Oh, and by the way, remember that this wee beastie is quite small, with a total leg span of less than an inch (about 2 cm).  If you’d like even more detail, just click on one of the photos and you will be rewarded.

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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 (10): Black-footed beauty (or beastie?)

  1. Mike Powell says:

    A spider in the winter? Wow. Great shots, Gary, of your tiny “friend.” The detail that you were able to capture is amazing (and it’s nice that you were able to work indoors and didn’t have to worry about the wind kicking up). Do you know what the little marble-shaped object is in the second shot?

    • krikitarts says:

      Yes, Mike, I’m afraid I do. I’ve seen the spots below where spiders hang out, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen what causes them. It’s the spider’s digestive elimination, and it lets it hang by a silken thread and then lets it fall. I considered editing it out, but it’s a natural thing, and it’s part of true life, so I left it in. I rotated the image 90 degrees counter-clockwise, so the “marble” was actually hanging straight down, obeying the rules of gravity. My, what sharp little eyes you have. I knew someone would ask, and I’m not at all surprised that it was you. I guess this is a new variation on the bonus bug…

  2. I must remember to not open a Krikitarts post on a Wednesday.

    But great photos anyway.

    I’m not good with spiders, can’t sleep with one in the bedroom and have to catch the other rare visitors in my lounge room, with a glass & piece of paper slid under, then throw then out into the garden. We’ve got a few poisonous ones here, but the white-tailed one (which I’ve never actually seen myself) causes the flesh to recede and rot away from a human limb after a bite. I don’t know how they treat white-tailed spider bites. Must do some form of skin transplant once they neutralise the venom. Very nasty indeed.

    • krikitarts says:

      Don’t avoid all of my Wednesdy posts out of hand, Vicki! If one showcases a spider, the title will be Webnesday (Squiddy’s clever invention), not Wednesday. Or should I put an extra caveat in the title if it’s a particularly impressive one? When the weather’s nice, I catch them in the same way and let them go outside. Good on ya! Some of your white-tails have made it to New Zealand, and I’ve seen one there.

  3. The curtain looks like it could be made of spider silk, so it serves as an excellent background.

  4. Fantastic macros Gary!! The details are so clear that I actually shivered a little bit :).

    • krikitarts says:

      The little thing was very accommodating in holding so still for me. I was shooting at 1/60 second and f/16 for good depth of focus at 85 mm. Being so close to the cool wiindow pane probably helped to slow it down a bit too–whatever, I’m really happy with our little photo session!

  5. Awesome shots of someone so tiny!

  6. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful shots, Gary, especially the frontal ones! And I am quietly reassured that you deemed it only proper to re-don a modicum of garb, because otherwise you’d be approaching the “probably nude” selfie I did awhile back and I don’t think we should go there again …

    • krikitarts says:

      Most definitely not, Adrian, particularly considering your preference for the frontal ones! So you may remain quietly reassured, but please consider a modicum of your own next time.

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