Bug Shots

A closer look at insect photography

Archive for the ‘Other Creatures’ Category

Spiders, Scorpions, Centipedes, Millipedes, Molluscs

A Gentle Giant

Posted by Darren on April 18, 2011

I believe this magnificent spider is of the family Sparassidae, more commonly known as Huntsman Spiders.  I spotted this spider on some pavers after heavy rain, most likely from being flooded out of its garden habitat.  These spiders are not web builders and prefer to hunt on the ground for insects such as cockroaches which makes them a welcome addition to any garden.   I’m sure it’s not a favorite amongst the arachnophobes due to its large size, but they are not known to be overly aggressive or venomous to humans.


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Small Garden Jumping Spider

Posted by Darren on March 30, 2011

This small jumping spider (Opisthoncus polyphemus) is one of the most common jumping spider species that I see around the garden.  They are common amongst the palms and lillipillies, and can be quite well camouflaged.  I often seen them stalking small flies amongst the leaves, often approaching from underneath surrounding foliage before making a very fast jumping strike.  I quite often spot the unlucky fly first, and when approaching to take a photo, find that it is hanging from the jaws of one of these little spiders.

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Lemon Grass Lynx

Posted by Darren on September 19, 2010

Lately I’ve noticed that the leaves of this lemon grass are regularly visited by several spider species.  This specimen appears to be the Elegant Lynx Spider (Oxyopes elegans) which I am now seeing more regularly now Spring has arrived.  I find Lynx spiders can be easy to shoot if you don’t approach them too quickly with the lens.  They appear to have excellent eyesight and are very quick at making a dash behind leaves if startled.  If you ever find a Lynx Spider sitting on a nest it can be a great opportunity to take some shots as they will stubbornly refuse to move from their eggs no matter how close you get!

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Beautiful Salticidae

Posted by Darren on August 11, 2010

I have definitely noticed a drop off in the variety and quantity of insect species during winter, though there has been no shortage of jumping spider sightings.  These little spiders are everywhere at the moment and I am also seeing numerous species of Salticidae. One of the greatest frustrations at the moment would have to be the persistent wind which has been quite successful in ruining most of my shots this week.  I have been noticing quite a few jumpers on my windows which has allowed me to gather a few photos without the wind moving the subject around.  I am probably seeing 2-3 spiders on each window of my house, and they appear to be hunting the small flies that land there frequently.  It’s quite entertaining watching the spiders catch sight of these flies and how they will stalk them.  Their approach is very stealthy and patient, though they will cleverly cover ground much quicker when they move out of sight of the prey.

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A deadly embrace

Posted by Darren on July 25, 2010

One fact about Lynx spiders (Family Oxyopidae) that never ceases to amaze me is their hunting ability.  These small spiders (7-8 mm) are certainly not afraid to take down prey larger than themselves, or even other spiders as I discovered yesterday.  I was actually trying to get a photo of the brown coloured lynx spider as it scurried along a small twig only to discover another lynx spider jump upon it and attack.  It was all a fierce tangle of legs as the attacker managed to sink its fang into the victim as it dangled itself from a strand of spider web.  The attacking spider appears to be an Elegant Lynx Spider (Oxyopes elegans), though I’m not sure of the identity of the unfortunate brown lynx spider.  I would have thought the fight evenly matched looking at the size of the two spiders, though there is no doubt that the Elegant Lynx Spider was quite efficient in dispatching its rival.  By the look of the large palps on the brown spider, it appears the victim was a male and the victor a female.  I only spotted the beautifully camouflaged brown spider as it was moving and didn’t even see the other spider until it sprang to attack.  I wonder if the attacking spider had hunted the rival for food or perhaps in defense of a territory or a nest.  It was certainly a great moment to catch on camera.

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