Wild Flowers and Their Associates Photos 061-080
A click on the number of a photo produces an enlargement to 800 by 600 pixels. A click on a photo produces a smaller enlargement.
Photo 061. Phidippus clarus (male) on a red ballpoint pen. (Comstock, p. 691) Spiders have eight legs, two chelicerae (the first two appendages of the head, here iridescent greenish-blue) having retracted fangs at their extremity, and two pedipalps which are short appendages attached to the head on each side of chelicerae. Here, the tips of the pedipalps are enlarged. This distinguishes male spiders from female spiders of all species. Usually, a mature female spider is from somewhat to considerably larger than a mature male spider of the same species. In the case of jumping spiders, the size difference is less accentuated.
Photo 062. Phidippus clarus (male) (Comstock, p. 691)
Photo 063. Plexippus paykullii (male) from Florida (Comstock, p. 701)
Photo 064. Plexippus paykullii from Florida. (Comstock, p. 701) Photo 063 of the same individual makes the identification easy based on the description in Professor Comstock's "The Spider Book". And this photo clearly shows this individual to be the male of the species and one who is quite aware of the photographer's presence. The four largest of the eight simple eyes are clearly visible. The other four are much smaller ones behind them and are not noticeable here.
Photo 065. Plexippus paykullii from Lake Wales, Florida. (Comstock, p. 701)
Photo 066. Dendryphantes capitatus (female) (Comstock, p. p. 694)
Photo 067. Hasarius adamsonii, a cosmotropical species, as a tentative guess, based on a picture in "A Guide to Spiders and Their Kin" by H. W. Levi, L. R. Levi, and H. S. Zim in the Golden Nature Guide Series, Golden Press, Western Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin, 1968. Photographed on a red ball point pen, this spider was found at the Krone Conservatory in Eden Park and is likely a tropical species that arrived on a plant shipment. It is not in Professor Comstock's Spider Book.
Photo 068. Agelena naevia is commonly called the Grass Spider. It constructs this type of web over which it can run quite rapidly. When waiting for prey, it resides hidden in the funnel portion at the upper left of center. When it detects that some part of its web has undergone at least a small relative motion, it emerges rapidly from the inner portion of the funnel and, guided by web vibrations, runs rapidly to the area of disturbance before its visual reflexes dictate what it should then do. For example, a gentle touch of the web with the tip of a pencil will bring the spider out of its funnel over to the pencil tip in a fraction of a second before the spider quickly retreats to its hiding place (anthropomorphically, we might add: probably with disappointment, if spiders can permit themselves the luxury of experiencing such) .
Photo 069. Agelena naevia (female) peering inquisitively with more caution than usual.
Photo 070. Agelena naevia on its smooth web. Because the web is reasonably horizontal without gaps, the spider can run rapidly without concern for the particular strands on which it places its feet. Of course the eye arrangements of spiders corresponds to their hunting styles. Grass spiders have their eight simple eyes of approximately the same size arranged in two rows of four each. Their vision is good. Jumping spiders have excellent vision; for them depth perception is important. Wolf spiders, photographs of which will be encountered later, run over the ground the way Grass Spiders run over their web. The eye arrangement of wolf spiders is somewhat like that of grass spiders and their vision is also good.
Photo 071. Tegenaria derhami (female) photographed on a blue examination booklet. This spider spins a web somewhat like that of a grass spider and employs similar tactics. I have found it mainly in various nooks and crannies of my underused garage.
Photo 072. Dolomedes tenebrosus (male), photographed on a blue examination booklet, is one of the so-called fishing spiders. They have the ability to run rapidly on the surface of the water in undisturbed pools of creeks and ponds. The nature of their feet and the surface tension of the water make this possible. Their eight simple eyes are clearly arranged in two curved rows with the eyes in the second row somewhat larger. Their vision is excellent and of a far-sighted character. For that reason, their hunting style on water is like that of a wolf spider on a smooth forest floor.
Photo 073. Lycosa aspersa (female) on a blue examination booklet. It has four simple eyes in a fairly straight first row and four larger simple eyes behind them at the vertices of a trapezoid. (The shorter of the two parallel sides of the trapezoid is just behind the row of four smaller eyes.) It is a large spider that has excellent vision and can run rapidly. It simply overpowers its prey. Also, they have considerable poise and are fearless. For instance, when a hand is placed flat on the ground beside the spider, it will permit itself to be nudged to move over, stand on the hand, and then remain completely motionless while the fingers of the hand remain outstretched and the hand is elevated upward while remaining horizontal. Wolf spiders like to look directly at the person who is observing them. On April 5, 2010, I learned from John and Jane Balaban that the genus Lycosa in North America has been split into a number of genera. Thus, the names assigned to Photos 073 through 078 as my best guesses based on Professor Comstock's "The Spider Book" are definitely not currently acceptable.
Photo 074. Lycosa aspersa on the left hand of the photographer while the camera is held in my right hand and the (usually-left-hand-held) strobe light was somehow juggled. Instead of the finger patterns that produce finger prints, we have palm patterns. Because the photographer admires spiders, each one was returned without intended harm to the area where it was discovered.
Photo 075. Lycosa aspersa on a blue examination booklet. Its interest in the photographer is indicated by the upward tilt of its cephalathorax so that its eyes are looking directly at the camera.
Photo 076. Lycosa gulosa on blue examination booklet.
Photo 077. Lycosa gulosa Her egg sac containing hundreds of unhatched eggs is securely attached to her spinnerets and she can hunt efficiently with this arrangement. Female wolf spiders in this situation can become particularly fine mothers. Namely, after the individual spiders hatch from their eggs in this egg sac, they are gathered together and carried around on the back of the female spider. As she captures prey, she shares the food. Spiders can be considered particularly dainty eaters; it is as if they drink their food through soda straws.
Photo 078. Lycosa carolinensis (female) is one of the largest wolf spiders. During the late 1960's and early 1970's when I was interested in taking photographs, I purchased my Kodachrome film at Ace's Camera Shop in the 700 block of Vine Street near the Cincinnati public library. Ace liked this particular photograph so much for his particular reasons that, with my permission, he had a large print made and hung in his storefront window for advertising purposes.
Photo 079. Misumena vatia is one of the crab spiders. Here it is conspicuously out of place in this photo against an underexposed blue book. Crab spiders are masters of disguise and some such as this one can gradually change their color to that of the flower in which they hide to ambush unobservant insects. This particular one had been hiding in a yellow-colored flower.
Photo 080. Misumena vatia (female) Here, she adopted a less yellow coloration in order to be less conspicuous to an approaching insect as she hid in this thistle flower (of my former back yard that became a parking lot and is now occupied by the Beechwood Elementary School).
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