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Along came a spider for Alexei

Along came a spider for Alexei
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-19
Categories: Insects, Spiders
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4, 1/80 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dedications I have made, Animals from my garden [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-08-03 4:51
Viewed: 5463
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Jumping spider & unknown wasp

I would like to dedicate today's posting to Alexei Alyokhin (Alex99). Recently he spoiled us with his lovely "Lord of Roses", "Still the Lord" & "Guard at the Lord's Palace" spider images. When I saw the outcome of my photograph, I thought of Alexei's delightful portfolio, filled with great macro shots. His postings are always done with taste & presented in a pleasant & eye-catching manner. I for one cannot pass by his images without leaving my comments if time permits, as his presentations are always warm, inviting & very pleasing to the eye.

In the 7 months that I have been part of Trek Nature I have learned to know Alexei as a person who respect his fellow members, by ways of his feedback towards their photographs. He always shows his appreciation for their contributions, no matter what the subject. I quote from his intro page: "I'm glad to have an opportunity to share my own observations and to adopt knowledge and experience of more skilled TN-members and to be getting pleasure from their works."

Do yourself a favour & drop by Alexei's gallery for a treat of some wonderful macro shots, you won't be sorry that you did & you surely will be getting pleasure from his work in return.

I was pondering on what to say about this image. I had 3 different possibilities, maybe something about a jumping spider, maybe something about an unknown wasp or maybe something about the unopened buds of the spider orchid they were resting on. Not 1 of the 3 really provided me with the kind of notes I was seeking for & I decided to share some interesting information about the basic facts of insect senses, which I found most informative.

I know this note is rather long but I just could not condense the information any further, as everything is so interesting & really enlightening.

Sense Organs
Most insects have the same 4 taste sensations as humans, salty, bitter, sweet & sour. Some have sense organs for temperature, humidity as well as movement. Most sense organs are microscopic in size & are found on their body wall. Many are small hairs & others are small domes. All sense organs have one or more nerves leading to them. These organs are called sensilla. A single antenna can have more than 5 000 sensilla.

Sense organs, or sensilla, that function for taste & smell always have at least 1 small hole, or pore, through which the chemical molecules enter the organ. There are always 2 or more nerves inside these sensilla that respond to the chemical. Sense organs that respond only to mechanical touch or vibration do not have holes in them & they only have 1 nerve.

The taste organs may be found on all parts of their bodies, but they are located mainly on the mouthparts & their feet. Some have taste organs on their antennae. Wasps & crickets know where to lay their eggs because they have taste organs on their ovipositor. Many have taste organs for particular chemicals found in only a few plants. The cabbage butterfly, for example, has a taste organ for mustard.

Antennae are primarily "smellers" - they are the insect's "nose" because they are covered with many organs of smell. These organs help to find food, a mate & a place to lay eggs. They can even decide which direction to fly by using their sense of smell. The organ of smell does not detect as many different odours as a human's nose, but is tuned more finely. It can detect differences between very similar chemicals & can smell much smaller quantities of a scent.

Most of the sense organs that respond to touch are small hairs with a nerve at their base. They can sense the movement of this hair if it touches another object. These sense organs of touch can respond even to the wind or a gentle breeze. This is 1 reason why it is difficult to swat a fly. The fly can sense the air being pushed towards it when your hand is moving.

They can hear sound passing as vibrations through the air, through the ground, through water or even through the leaf of a plant. Some can hear sounds that people can't hear. They have many different kinds of "ears" or hearing organs. The simplest hearing organs are the same hair-like sense organs that respond to touch. Some detect sound with a tympanum, a large membrane like the eardrum in humans. Many have hearing organs inside their legs. These ears in legs respond to vibrations passing though the ground or a plant. This is why ants will come out of their nest if you stomp the ground.

Adults & nymphs have 2 compound eyes & up to 3 simple eyes on their head. A simple eye is a single lens that tells the difference between light & dark. A compound eye includes many lenses that have 6 sides & fit together like the cells of a honeycomb. Compound eyes differ in their ability to see, but some can see sharp images & different colours. All insects can see movement better than shape.

Insects with large compound eyes, like dragonflies, have a wide field of view of 360º. Colour vision differs from that in humans. Many can see the ultraviolet colour not visible to humans, but most cannot see the colour red. If a red plastic film is placed over a flashlight, insects can be observed at night without their detecting the light.

Other Senses
They have special organs for sensing their movements, which cause internal changes in pressure & stress inside their bodies. These sense organs are similar to those for touch, except they are dome-shaped & have no hair. They have many of these pressure & stress organs on their wings & legs & they could not walk or fly without them.

Instinct & Learning
They also have the ability to learn. Some moths first locate flowers instinctively by their scent. Later they learn to identify the flower by their vision. Some kinds of wasps make orientation flights to learn landmarks near their nest & these landmarks are remembered so they can find their nest after a longer flight. Honeybees also learn to come to food at certain times during the day when there is nectar available. They can also learn by "trial & error." When Colorado Potato Beetles first attempt to mate, they are not very good at identifying their own species or even distinguishing the head from the tail end of the body. With repeated attempts & failures, they learn to recognise their own species & to tell the head from the tail end. Source

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

anel, Alex99, maurydv, red45, Janice, Evelynn, robindb, Heaven, JORAPAVI, JoseMiguel, jusninasirun, gracious, ramthakur, tuslaw, MMM, marhowie, Kaszek, zulfu, boreocypriensis, haraprasan, yasemin, tiobibi, goldyrs, oscarromulus, UkeTex has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-08-03 5:23]

Hello Anna,
Very interesting and natural picture of insect world. Amazing to see that spider and wasp wear about the same colours and patterns and we don't know which one could be the prey. Long, but very instructive note too. What made me smile, was the hearing organs in the legs!
Have a nice Sunday

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-08-03 6:28]

Hi, dear Anna.

I have absolutely reddened from constraint while I was reading your touching note and dedication, but I am happy when watching your amazing pictures.

You managed to catch a wonderful scene of an opposition of two nice insects. It is so rare shot. I also am impressed with three-dimensional effect created by precise DOF. All parts of impressive plant and both insects are crisp sharp and perfectly detailed. BG is very nice, well blurred, illuminated and coloured. POV is the best and framing of the image is excellent too. What is the end of this photo story? Many thanks for kindness and encouragement as well as for wonderful picture.
Yours Alexei.

Ciao Anna,
complimenti per la dedica e per le sensibili parole che accompagnano questo omaggio ad Alexei e naturalmente anche per le note sempre molto utili ed istruttive.
Molto bella questa doppia cattura, splendida composizione con i due insetti che sembrano tendersi un reciproco agguato, eccellente definizione dei dettagli, magnifici i colori e la luminosità.
TFS. Maurizio

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-08-03 12:53]

Hi Anna,a very nice situation to take, and a perfect realisation! I like a lot the best quality of sharpenss and colors and the very excellents note,just my best compliments,have a nice week,Luciano

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-08-03 13:37]

Hello Anna!

Very well captured interesting drama between two actors. It isn't so obvious that spider will win here. Excellent note.
Today I finally captured few violet damselflies for you and I'll post them soon :-)

Hi Anna
Die kleure in hierdie fotos vloei fantasties in mekaar. Ek ken nie al die tegniese detail nie, maar my oog se vir my dis baie goed gedoen. Goeie notos ook. Mooi Anna

Hi Anna,

Mooi storie in die foto wat tegnies goed is en gooie instruktiewe kommentaar daarby



Hi Anna!

You present us a interesting and beautiful posting. You're right, the notes a re a bit long, but nobody is obliged to read them entirely. I prefer too long to too short notes! The picture is surprising because of the unity of the colour of both insects. Moreover, the depth of field allows to see both of them in perfect sharpness. I also appreciate the natural background.

Kind regards


Hola Anna,
Magnífica captura de estos insectos que nos muestras en una bella composición, gran definición, hermosa luz y color, excelente nota informativa, gracias por compartir, saludos
José Ramón

Once again, a great picture, Anna. You must have a fascinating garden, I certainly do not have a collection of insects as you have in my garden. I am not a great fan of either spiders or wasps, so I am wondering how far away you were when you took the photo! I am also wondering what the outcome of a possible meeting between the spider and the wasp was! Now that would have made a great action shot!

Hi Anna,
This is like the hidden game!
I like a lot the story told here with your picture.
Perhaps the insects are beware of each other, perhaps just only doing its own business, but for sure you had a great eye to catch this singular moment.
Congratulations and thanks for share it with us.
My best regards,

Yes Anna, I am enjoying this photo as much as you enjoyed taking it. Wonderful framing with well metered exposure. The fruits and insects are beautifully framed and pleasing background. Useful notes as always and thanks so much for sharing. Warmest regards. Jusni
I am honored to have my photo in your favorite list :-)

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2008-08-06 10:06]

Hello anna , A Well composed one, good details compositie sharpnes ,very nice photo ,tfs ,Greetings Teunie .

Hello Anna,
Great dedication to a gentleman of nature and a great photographer!
excellent macro with wonderful details and closeness!
the colour is wonderful too
many thanks for the sharing

hello anna,
nice capture of the wasp and the spider, the image is very sharp with good details , fine point of view, lovely colors and interesting notes too,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-08-09 2:59]

Hello Anna,
thanks for liking my butterfly shot with red flowers. I really appreciate it and you help me to make my day as it is the highest score ever I ever got. Though I never go for it, but it makes me really motivated and happy. thanks again. I always appreciate any shot by anyone, as i believe that we appreciate nature and the creatures and plants that exist on earth. So sharing of photos is already a great thing to do. as for this one the insects on the fruits really look marvellous for its originality and information.
Your notes are great help too.

Thanks for sharing , best regards.

I agree with you about Alexei, Anna. You have summed up his dignified presence on TN and his extraordinary skills very well in your note.
Regarding you picture with two subjects, it is an interesting capture. The spider and the wasp seem to be sizing each other up and perhaps deciding to maintain a dignified distance from each other.
Thanks for sharing it and warm regards.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2008-08-09 8:33]

Beautiful image Anna,
Composed very well with good detail and an array of colors. The two don't seem to mind each others company in the least bit.
You will have to go back and take a shot of the Spider Orchid when it opens, I would love to see what it loos like. At first glance I thought it was some kind of vegetable.
One of my missionary friends is here in the States on furlough right now. He is stationed in Tanzania, and says Africa is a beautiful place to live and minister in. I hope to someday visit on a missionary trip, but until then I'll rely on TN for my sightseeing of your wonderful continent.
PS. I read all your notes and yes, they are long, but well worth it!!

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-08-10 22:44]

Hello Anna,
very interesting picture of having a spider and also wasp. I am not sure who is attacking whom? But the shot is excellently composed and with a superb sharp picture.. Well done.

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-08-11 6:55]

Hi Anna
very interesting of insect
very good image
well done.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-08-12 13:04]

Hi Anna
Excelelnt composition.Sharp image to.Excellent light and lovely colors.Good DOF and POV.Your text is also very good.
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-08-13 4:05]

Hi Anna,

Excellent posting, and very useful in terms of reference too! Great detail and a very well chosen POV. Your time and effort in producing these comprehensive notes is appreciated, it is a fitting dedication to Alexei.

Hi Anna,
Great "twofer", always a plus with the added interest.
Well composed and a nice POV of the developing scene..
The Perfect title & dedictaton to one of TN's best.

Hallo Anna,

'n Foto wat 'n storie vertel. Mooi komposisie. Wat het verder gebeur? Het die perdeby die spinnekop gejag? Goeie nota. Ons kry plesier daaruit ja, dankie daarvoor.


Hello Anna,
Very interesting photo with two different creautures. And very interestic and nice note.
Who won? ;)

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-08-19 10:16]

Hello Anna
Perfect macro with great sharpnes and wonderful lighting.
TFS and regards,

Hi Anna,
What a perfect trio capture with great clarity. Great composition too. Your notes are excellent as usual.
Many thanks for sharing this beauty my friend!
Greetings from TRNC,

Hi Anna,
A nice capture of this beautiful wasp along with the jumping spider. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Anna,
Perfect picture and good shot of camouflaged spider and wasp on an interesting plant... you did very well as usual... sorry I did not write critiques to your shots on TN, because I was on holiday in Cyprus. I will catch up when I come back to UK...
Regards... all the best.. Leyla

Ciao Anna, splendid double capture, interesting macro with wonderful wasp and beautiful spider, great details and excellent sharpness, very well done, brava, ciao Silvio

Hello my dear friend Anna!
What a wonderful shot from you!I love the perfect sharpness and the lovely colours you've captured!
It's wonderful to be back mong friends!
Thank you!

Hi Anna,

This is the true beauty of reality and life. Excellent colours and perfect times shot.


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-08-27 20:15]

Hello Anna! You captured a great encounter! The details are very sharp and I like the warm tones, good contrasts and exposure, an impressive shot, thanks!


Anna, hello.
Magnificient details.
Great notes too.
Mario from Canada with greetings.
P.S. Warm hug for Loot.

Hello Anna.

Excellent image, nice composition and colors.

Jose Luis

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