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Adult Male Jumping Spider at Sunset - Phidippus mystaceus

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


Here’s yet another handsome Phidippus mystaceus that caught my eye from about 20-30 feet while walking some trails yesterday afternoon. Momentarily, my mind told me the form I saw floating near some conifers beside the trail was a large hoverfly. But as I slowly walked closer, and upon noticing that the form didn’t move from its position – it clicked in my mind and I knew it must be a salticid hanging on a line – and likely a Phidippus mystaceus given the location! To my surprise and joy, he ended up being a healthy male specimen as well – the perfect counterpart to the female I posted a few weeks back!


What a wonderful little guy he was - all salticids are quite alert and aware of their surroundings, but he was particularly so - noticing even the subtlest of motions. This shot proved to be a little tricky and still isn’t quite what I was going for (I violated some of my very loosely followed and self-imposed rules regarding color and value contrast) but any P. mystaceus shot is a cause for celebration – and one against a sunset for Halloween was too good to pass up. The method of shooting was just about the same as the previous P. mystaceus shot, only taken later in the day with the warm glow of the setting sun illuminating the background of the exposure and creating a natural vignette. 2 shots focus-stacked with Zerene Stacker at f/16 with the 50mm reversed on extension tubes.


Sadly, things are seemingly starting to take their downswing to cooler temperatures here in Oklahoma, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to produce any new macrophotos if that final cold snap should come through soon, but you never know – hopefully this won’t be my last shot for this season. I always have my database of older shots to sift through for some unappreciated beauty I unjustly looked over at some point.


Happy Halloween!

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Taken on October 30, 2011