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O'l Four eyes

O'l Four eyes
Photo Information
Copyright: Graeme Swarts (swarg) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 13 W: 3 N: 21] (373)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS400D, Sigma 50mm F2.8 DG Macro
Exposure: f/22, 1/200 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-10-08 2:20
Viewed: 3162
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Commonly called Jumping spiders, the Salticidae are also affectionately referred to as Charlies, Herbies or Salties. They are very common around the home and their anthropomorphic nature endears them to most people. The family name is derived from the Latin "salto" which means to dance with pantomimic gestures (See mating behaviour below). This is the largest spider family and includes more than 5000 species worldwide. There are 46 genera in South Africa. These spiders are harmless to man although there have been complaints where this comical, engaging animal has been accused of nasty bites

This family is easily identified by the 2 large anterior median (front central, like 2 headlights) eyes. These binocular, telescopic eyes can identify detail and colour for up to 20 body-lengths making the spider a very successful hunter. The 6 other eyes detect movement and prey. The 2 wide-angled secondary eyes detect object up to 30-40cms. At about 20cms it turns to face the object, at 8-10cms is able to identify, at 3-4cms it will start to stalk and at 1-2cms the attack is launched.

The various species either walk or jump but the salticids are the bungee jumpers of the spider world. To catch flying prey, they simply attach silk to a substrate and leap into the air. Should they miss a landing site, they simply haul themselves back up the launch site and reuse the bungee. They vary in size, 3 to 17mm and the Cape species rarely exceed 10mm. They are diurnal (daytime) cursorial (running) hunters. Generally, they are squat-bodied with short legs but there are some species that are slender where they mimic certain insects. The legs are not especially muscled for jumping but instead a jump is propelled by an explosive release of hydraulic pressure in the 4 hind legs. Unlike web-bound spider that have 3 claws, the salticids have 2 claws plus a scopulae pad (tuft of hair) that enables to adhere to various surfaces.

The integument (skin) varies from glabrous (hairless) to hirsute (hairy). Depending on the spider species and the animal that is being mimicked, they are often cryptically or attractively patterned.

The male is usually more slender and often looks totally different (sexually dimorphic) in shape and colour. This chapter would be incomplete without a reference to the courtship of these spiders, not only from an interest point of view but it will also explain the Latin derivation of the family name mentioned above. Interesting and amusing studies have been done on mating dances carried out by male spiders which consist of ostentacious and ridiculous weaving and lurching accompanied by waving and signalling with the palps. The antics are sometimes mimicked by the females perhaps as a signal to the male that she has got into the swing of things and is available to mate. Some of the males' repetitive palp movements are thought to mesmerise or hypnotize the female, reducing the risk of attack. The courting male jumping spider must dance before his mistress and it seems that the male makes desperate attempts to impress the female with his dancing repertoire while the female follows every step with critical interest.


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To marhowie: O'l Four Eyesswarg 1 10-08 07:05
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Graeme
lovely spider, above all perfect compo and very nice BG

hi graeme
fantastic composition and good focus
colors are beautiful
amazing eyes
aleks ;-)
best wishes

Hi Graeme,

compliments for the quality of this image, excellent subject, taken with great sharpness and colors



Great details, DOF, POV, and nice color Graeme.
Really like the comp and diagonal column of green running through your BG :)
Well done!

Hi Graeme,
this spider is wonderful, realy a little cute - I never thought I could say this for a spider!!! But I love these big dark eyes, very good shot, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-10-08 9:34]

Hello Graeme,
the perfect focus, the admirable sharpness and the brilliant colours present the little spider very well. The light green just behind the spider makes it stand out even better. You selected, thus, the right point of view. An impressive and nicely composed macro!
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • lise Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 169 W: 48 N: 548] (2877)
  • [2007-10-09 5:14]

Hi Graeme,
What a cute little fellow with those big eyes!! Amazing macro composition,lovely sharpness and BG.
Very well done!

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