Friday Photo: 27 June

June 27th, 2014 at 8:54 am by Chthoniid

Last week we got a pic of one of our smallest arachnids, so this week it’s one of our largest.  This is our native tunnelweb Hexatheles hochstetteri.  They emerge out of their tunnels at night to wait for prey to stray close to the web.  Which introduces the technical challenge of trying to photograph when it’s actually pretty dark.  They have the more basal features of four book-lungs and paraxial fangs.

Click for larger, higher res image

 

 

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11 Responses to “Friday Photo: 27 June”

  1. SGA (1,045 comments) says:

    Yes – spider, cool. Love the the eyes (not as much as Jessica Alba’s, but that’s a different dimension).
    You’ve got to wonder if movie scifi/horror designers spend time poring over picture books of arthropoda.

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  2. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    SGA: Yes – spider, cool

    Bugger that. Spiders (and snakes) – not for me.

    @Chthoniid: …technical challenge of trying to photograph when it’s actually pretty dark

    Care to share how you did it?

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  3. Amelia44 (15 comments) says:

    What a fantastic photo! Well done. The level of detail is amazing. I have seen a few of these spiders in my garden in Wellington, but could not find much about them online. For anyone who is interested, the best source of information I have found so far is at: http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/spiders/branded-tunnelweb-spider.html
    As it says, they may look large and fearsome but there is no record of them having bitten anyone as they are extremely shy.

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  4. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    These pics are almost as good as the RNZ bird call. Good stuff.

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  5. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    @SGA – we have a lot of very fascinating nocturnal creepy-crawlies. No idea where scifi/horror writers get their ideas. I think we’d see much more variety if they did study arthropod photo books.

    @Elyacee
    You need a weak light to spot the creature. I also turn off the display on camera to leave it blank to reduce night blindness. Try to pick a camera with a very bright OVF and a bright, large aperture lens. Because everything has to be done manually- exposure, focus etc. You don’t have much light to work with so you need to extract all the light you can. I have a macro flash which for the most part, doesn’t bother them. But it means I can shoot at a small aperture and fast shutter speed.

    @Amelia44

    Thanks- often the trick to a good macro photo is to work out where to put the lighting. They are very shy, if you hit any of their warning threads they’re down that tunnel.

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  6. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Nope nope nope nope nope.

    Big hairy spiders can just fuck right off.

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  7. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    @RRM

    think of them more as cute and furry- like miniature kittens :)

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  8. tas (625 comments) says:

    Nope!

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  9. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    not feeling the love for the arachnids today :)

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  10. SGA (1,045 comments) says:

    I’d love a pet tarantula.

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  11. Johnboy (16,597 comments) says:

    You can’t have this one SGA. He’s Rudd’s buddy! :)

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