Webnesday (16)

It’s been quite a while since I brought you a fresh Webnesday post. I did have a couple of quite-satisfactory chance meetings with some of our arachnid neighbors up in Minnesota during the past couple of months, and I’ll present reports of those in the near future. But another new opportunity arose earlier this week. As I was going out into the front yard toward evening, the unmistakable silhouette of a rather large jumping spider on the glass storm door arrested my attention. Upon closer examination, and to my surprise, I found that it was resting on the inside of the glass. Eager for a closer look under more natural conditions, I carefully eased it into an inverted wine glass, closed the opening with a piece of cardboard, and let it rest in the kitchen until the next morning.

Since I only have one useful arm for the time being, I took the time to put the camera on a tripod, set up a small vase with a single daisy on a table in the back yard, focused on the flower, got my remote release ready, and gently coaxed the spider out onto the flower. For my careful preparations, it rewarded me by staying on the daisy for several minutes before making an impressive leap of about 18 inches down to the table surface, where it quickly moved out of sight to its under-side.

Tan jumper 1403It was a fine specimen of what is probably the most common jumping spider that I see here in Omaha, a Platycryptus undatus, commonly called a tan jumper.

tan jumper 1413This one is easily recognizable as an adult male, thanks to the rich orange “moustache;” the female’s is white.

Tan jumper 1409I’ve learned that the two sets of “eyelashes” that grow on each side of its head, which you can see most clearly in the second photo, are called pencil hairs. Isn’t he handsome?!

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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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8 Responses to Webnesday (16)

  1. Wonderful! I’ve missed Webnesdays. The lighting is superb especially in the final image – I love the way its eyes are lit and the pollen is caught in the hairs :)

    • krikitarts says:

      I’ve missed them too, Lisa–it’s so good to have some time to devote to the site again! The lighting was all natural, mid-morning sunlight filtering through a few wispy clouds and a few large trees. There’s something about jumpers’ eyes that really fascinates me. They are actually quite unique in the arthropod world and have been the subject of many very fascinating studies.

  2. Mike Powell says:

    He is most definitely a handsome spider. It’s great that the cool-looking spider was cooperative when you released him onto the daisy and gave you the chance to get these wonderful shots. You may not be able to use one of your arms at the moment, but your photography does not suggest that you have any real limitations.

    • krikitarts says:

      With a little advance planning, lots of things are possible. It’s the fleeting beauties that are going to be more of a challenge for a while. Glad you like him, Mike. I’ve had pretty good luck with jumpers in general, with patience and slow-motion movements–both of which I know you’re good at, as well!

  3. kerryl29 says:

    These are some terrific macro images, Gary. When it comes to close-up work, it never ceases to amaze me how the most infinitesimal of movements completely changes the shot.

    • krikitarts says:

      I share that fascination completely, Kerry. It is such a treat to have a number of similar images from which to make a selection, and the small nuances of angle and perspective can make a world of difference in the overall impression that each makes.

  4. Meanderer says:

    Handsome, indeed! A real character!

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