16 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

  1. The 2nd one may be a male goldenrod spider, as it is similar to the male in the link provided. It is certainly a crab spider of some sort.

    1. I agree – certainly a male, from the size of the pedipalps, and definitely fits the crab spider pattern. See http://bugguide.net/node/view/478661

      Has also had a bad time of it, since I count five legs.

      Pedipalps – those little ‘legs’ alongside the face. Club-ended, “boxing gloves” denotes male in nearly all spider species, since it’s where they stash their sperm before impregnating the female. Females have narrow pointy pedipalps, as can be seen with the white one above it.

      Eye pattern – one of the best ways of identifying spider orders, provided, naturally, that you can get a good look a them. See http://bugguide.net/node/view/84423

      Jumping spiders (Salticidae) always have two prominent eyes facing front, the anterior medians. And with the right species, you can see a curious trait – shameless plug at http://wading-in.net/walkabout/2013/10/too-cool-part-20-stop-it-youre-creeping-me-out/

      1. Surely this crab spider is a female? I see no swollen palps, and generally with thomisids the male is much smaller and quite different in appearance.

  2. I agree – certainly a male, from the size of the pedipalps, and definitely fits the crab spider pattern. See http://bugguide.net/node/view/478661

    Has also had a bad time of it, since I count five legs.

    Pedipalps – those little ‘legs’ alongside the face. Club-ended, “boxing gloves” denotes male in nearly all spider species, since it’s where they stash their sperm before impregnating the female. Females have narrow pointy pedipalps, as can be seen with the white one above it.

    Eye pattern – one of the best ways of identifying spider orders, provided, naturally, that you can get a good look a them. See http://bugguide.net/node/view/84423

    Jumping spiders (Salticidae) always have two prominent eyes facing front, the anterior medians. And with the right species, you can see a curious trait – shameless plug at http://wading-in.net/walkabout/2013/10/too-cool-part-20-stop-it-youre-creeping-me-out/

    1. Very interesting stuff. We share some interests.
      You mentioned there that it is impractical to use a tripod for macrophotography in the field. I agree, since the legs get in the way of getting close to a subject in the brush and you have to fuss with the height, etc. I use a very lightweight and cheap tripod and it is useful to help hold things much stiller than hand-held if you fold its legs together and shorten 2 of its 3 legs. The result is a kind of monopod that can also be a tripod when needed.

        1. I use a neck-strap that I wrap round my hands and pull against, that has quite a steadying effect (and nothing else to carry)

          1. I think it is skr01. Here is a link. There are a bunch of different options. I got this one because it was the cheapest and I could probably upgrade it with different plates later. You can even get weights to hang off the back.

            I find the shoulder part is weird on it – I would prefer it wrap more so you may want to try them all out.

          1. Haha! Even I would enjoy you spider close ups but I’d like a nice praying mantis or any thrown in every now and then.

  3. Checking in Jones’ Country Life guide to British/European spiders, I concur that the second picture is a male Thomisid (crab spider), probably M vatia:

    “Carapace: Dark brown with thin yellow median line. Eyes: On lighter region and with small tubercles laterally. Legs: I-II with darker femora, remaining segments annulated. III-IV pale, almost unmarked.”

    That’s a pretty good fit.

  4. I love arachnid day!!!!! Time to get a good camera and put it to use with my eight-legged friends hanging about the house.

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