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Adult Female Jumping Spider - Phidippus mystaceus | by Thomas Shahan
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Adult Female Jumping Spider - Phidippus mystaceus

Make sure to click here to view the larger image as Flickr's resizing creates moiré artifacts and over-sharpens a bit!


Alright! It's been far too long! I nearly ran over this wonderful little female with my bike while returning from a book sale this weekend. Initially, I wasn't quite sure if she was a salticid or not as I careened around her, but after momentarily debating turning back – I decided to do so and was instantly ecstatic upon realizing that the little speck of arthropod I’d instinctively avoided killing was none other than the most resplendent salticid of them all – Phidippus mystaceus! And not only that – she was in absolutely wonderful shape with fantastic hair coverage, a plump abdomen, and clean eyes!


The shot above was achieved by letting her hop on a sunflower leaf and holding her up to the sky to get a blue-sky background bright enough in the exposure. The image is a focus-stack of three images taken at about f/11 or f/16 with my old (now scratched) 50mm prime reversed on extension tubes. Also noteworthy is the fact that this is one of my first salticid shots taken with the new Pentax K-x body and in RAW nonetheless (all my previous work was shot in jpeg!). She ended up being quite cooperative and didn’t require too much pain or toil on my part – working with salticids is always a pleasure - even when difficult!


Apologies for the infrequent uploads lately, I’ve just been busy outside of the macrophotography world – but be assured – I’m still taking shots and searching for subjects and likely always will.


In other news – Bugshot 2011 with Alex Wild and John Abbott was a resounding success and proved to be a wonderful opportunity to hear and learn from a variety of entomologists, macro photographers, and more. Should it happen again next year – I’m fully behind it and consider it an invaluable resource.


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Taken on October 16, 2011