I want to give a big shout-out to all the readers who so kindly send me pictures for display on this site. Too often, I think, we take the daily photos for granted, but I think the quality of pictures taken and submitted by the readers is extraordinary. So thanks to both the regulars and the occasionals, and keep those photos coming in!
One of our regulars is Mark Sturtevant, who today sends us arthopod photos.
We start with this very pale spider, which is a female dimorphic jumping spider, Maevia inclemens. The male comes in different color forms.
Here’s a front view I’ve taken from Wikipedia:
Next is a lovely fly that is common in our forests during the early summer. This is the golden-backed snipe fly, Chrysophilus thoracicus. It is thought to be predatory on other insects. This individual is a male, identified by its huge compound eyes.
Also common in our forests in the early summer are groups of what I think are phlox flowers, and these are always worth a visit. This summer, for some reason, I would frequently come across at least one of these lovely moths on the flowers. It is the white slant-line moth (Tetracis cachexiata). They would just sit at the tops of the flowers, not feeding. Why? I have no idea. The moth is from the family Geometridae, so-named since their caterpillars are known as inchworms.
The next picture shows a wolf spider. I suspect that it is the wolf spider Trochosa ruricola, but I am not sure since there are other species that are pretty similar. She looks rather pregnant, and so I expect she would be carrying around her egg sac before long.
And finally… ever encounter one of these? Aren’t they great? I speak of course of the house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata. This species originated in the Mediterranean, but now, thanks to their spread through international commerce, people worldwide are familiar with their habit of racing up and down walls and occasionally showing up in the bathtub when one is naked. I know they always cause a great deal of excitement in our home, especially when a big one shows up unexpectedly.
It is of course desirable to bounce and diffuse the flash to minimize shadows when photographing subjects on a white background. But I rather like keeping the shadows with these subjects since it makes ‘em look more…centipedey. I had a lot of fun taking pictures of several house centipedes over the summer, and so there will be some more of this species in later installments.