07 June 2009


Badumna eats asilidOne predator — a grey house spider (Badumna longinqua) — feeds on another (a robber fly).
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor


jelb said...

Wonderful capture..Great light, sharpen and framing..Amzing work!..Bravo!

pohanginapete said...

Thanks jelb. The depth of field is shallower than I'd have liked, but this is available light, not flash, and hand held, so I'm happy enough with it. Cheers :^)

butuki said...

The house spider looks very much like a funnel web spider, though the web itself is a completely different structure. Funnel web spider spin their webs so that prey can still walk about, albeit with difficulty, and it is the lightning quick jabs they make that they use to subdue their prey. How does the house spider do it? If the web has no glue, how do they keep their prey from breaking away, especially a robber fly?

Robber flies themselves are formidable in the insect world, so it is quite a catch for the spider! If the robber fly had been free of the web and the spider had been loose on a leaf or branch somewhere, woe be to the spider!

One method of insect macrophotography that I want to look more into is the use of a deep focus macro lens (first developed by Satoshi Kuribayashi, http://www.flickr.com/groups/science-is-golden/discuss/72157602113509357/ ) so that there is great depth of field. I just don't know how to go about making or getting one of those 3 mm wide lenses!

pohanginapete said...

Miguel, the web includes tangled strands that catch on the hairs, bristles, and appendages of the prey. Presumably the entrapment doesn't have to be particularly secure, because the spider will be there within a second or two.

These are very different spiders from the mygalomorph funnelweb spiders (the most notorious of which is probably the Sydney funnelweb). Badumna is an araneomorph spider; the differences between these and mygalomorphs are substantial. However, the term "funnelweb" is probably pretty loose and I suspect is used — at least colloquially — for many spiders building a tubular retreat from which the main web spreads out.

Thanks for the link to that lens. The photos are spectacular and the possibilities wonderfully exciting.