Reader Mark Sturtevant sent some photos of arthropods; his notes are indented:
Here is another batch of pictures. These were largely taken during the winter, when I had very little invertebrate companionship except for the occasional creepy crawly. Obviously I was experimenting on photography against white backgrounds. Some of these were taken with an ancient 50mm manual Canon Fd lens that I got essentially for free (it was in a bunch of other camera gear that I bought through Craigslist). The lens was reverse mounted onto extension tubes.
The first three pictures are of a male dimorphic jumping spider (Maevia inclemens). They are so-named because the males come in two color morphs, this being the prettier one. This little cutie was hanging out on a lampshade in our house for a few days, and so I decided it needed its picture taken. Jumping spiders can be rather difficult to manage since they see very well and react to most any movement. But this little guy hopped right into my hand and obligingly worked with me through the whole process of taking pictures at our kitchen table. I was very pleased with it so I gave it a fruit fly, as shown in the last picture.
Next is a female dimorphic jumping spider which showed up at work, and so I brought it home. Was she as cooperative as the male? No. She was a complete pain in the tuchas, true to the nature of their family.
Next up is a big Muscid fly, species unknown but I am thinking genus Morellia. I put this one inside a cage on white paper, and to get it to stay in one place I made sure it was hungry and I laid down some sugar.
Finally we have an elegant critter known as the parson spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus). The name of these common ground spiders refers to their white markings which resembles the cravat once worn by the clergy.
And Stephen Barnard sent some flies:
Mating drone flies (species unknown). Not a good photo technically, but it was unusual to see.
“The diverse group of flower flies and hover flies (family Syrphidae) includes many successful bee mimics. Drone flies (members of the genera Eristalis) masquerade as bees with various body forms and striping patterns that are almost perfect matches to many common bee species. Often very effective pollinators due to their hairy bodies, flies have keystone roles in many of ecosystems where they occur. Flies are also the dominant (and in some cases only) pollinators of key crops and foods like coffee, chocolate, tea, bananas, and mangoes.”