Professor Ceiling Cat has a lot of writing to do today, so, barring any unexpected contributions from Greg or Matthew, it will be a Show-and-Tell Day.
I’ve featured the photos of Singapore photographer Nicky Bay once before (a ladybug mimicking a spider), but my attention was called to his latest posts, which have some fantastic spiders and other arthropods. I’ll put up a few with permission, but go over to his website (or his Flickr page; hit “Photostream to see 83 pages of macro photography!) to see a veritable carnival of fantastic animals from remote parts of the globe. (Note: please don’t reproduce these photographs elsewhere; Bay, like a good pro, doesn’t want his pictures disseminated all over the internet without permission).
First, a “skull-faced caterpillar”:
The “mirror” spider. Bay says this, and you should go here to see its transformation:
I have long observed the odd behavior of the Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) where the “silver-plates” on the abdomen seems to shrink when the spider is agitated (or perhaps threatened), revealing the actual abdomen. At rest, the silver plates expand and the spaces between the plates close up to become an almost uniform reflective surface. That is why I called it the Mirror Spider initially. Note that what I am posting are just observations and nothing is scientifically backed up. :
The official website arachnid™: a jumping spider (salticid):
And the face shot—look at those eyes! No wonder they’re so visual, and so accurate in catching prey:
Bay also found some spiders that fluoresce under UV light.
It is rather common knowledge that scorpions emit a bright blue glow under ultraviolet light. Recently, we’ve found that some millipedes and harvestmen exhibit the same behavior as well. This made us shine our UV torches at almost every subject we saw. What resulted on this night, was a really pleasant discovery.
Here’s a Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) in its web. It presumably is cryptic, resembling bird droppings:
And under UV (spiders can see in the UV spectrum):
Lo and behold, under ultraviolet light, the Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) illuminates to resemble some precious blue stone!! Even the eyes were a creepy blue! Thanks to Melvyn for taking the effort to shine the UV light at almost every subject we saw that night.
Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae). You may know of this one: it doesn’t inhabit its web but weaves it between its forelegs and catches prey like a tennis racket captures a ball.
And here’s Bay at work:
And his current equipment (but remember, you don’t become a good photographer just by using good equipment; you need technique and an “eye”!):
2012-current: Setup 2
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro
36mm Kenko Extension Tube
Nikon SB400 or SB-R200 x 2