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Eyes of an Adult Female Phidippus putnami Jumping Spider

Here's a shot of the Anterior Median and Anterior Lateral Eyes of an adult female Phidippus putnami. I actually found (and photographed - see here) this spider as a sub-adult on July 9th, and to my delight, a few weeks later - found her again as a matured adult!


She must have just molted as she was in absolutely immaculate condition - perfectly clean eyes, no lost scales, no messed up hair... and to top it all off - she was quite cooperative while I photographed her! Of course, (like nearly all salticids) she made a few leaps to the camera and my hands - but in general - she was pretty easy to work with. I was able to capture the image above once she backed up into a little "cave" in the folds of my t-shirt (which I had removed and layed out on a railing). Once she settled down and relaxed in the darkness, I very slowly and gently moved some of the cloth out of the way with my left hand (as seen in the reflection in her eyes) and proceeded to fire away with my right.


I realize many of my photos don't really have imaginative or dynamic compositions, (I often fall into the trap of just photographing things centered, straight on, and level) but I don't take these photos to create works of art - I take them to provide clear, accurate, and informative views of these astounding animals for the public. Understand that the subject is the source of the beauty and the photograph is completely secondary. The photo above (a crop) is a manual focus stack of 4 images taken at about 4:1 with the 28mm reversed on extension tubes at f/8.


Follow the link below for more images and information of this truly fantastic spider:




To read more about jumping spider vision on Wikipedia (with a photo of mine), go here:




And Dr. Wayne Maddison has a fantastic page about salticid vision over at Tolweb here:






In other news - a photo I took of the eyes of a female Maevia inclemens (here it is...) is going to be featured (in some manner or another) in the October issue of Popular Photography magazine! I'll make sure to post a photo when the magazine comes out!

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Taken on July 24, 2009