Friday, July 12, 2013

Transformation of the Mirror Spider

I have long observed the odd behavior of the Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) where the "silver-plates" on the abdomen seems to shrink when the spider is agitated (or perhaps threatened), revealing the actual abdomen. At rest, the silver plates expand and the spaces between the plates close up to become an almost uniform reflective surface. That is why I called it the Mirror Spider initially. Note that what I am posting are just observations and nothing is scientifically backed up. :)

Note: There is a version of my photo that is being re-distributed on the internet with the watermarks willfully removed, and captioned as Sequined Spider or Australian Stained-Glass Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia argentiopunctata). Note that there has not been any confirmation of the ID, and that this spider was found and shot in Singapore. Re-distribution of the photos is not allowed as they are copyrighted - DMCA takedown notices have been issued for unauthorized usage.

    Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) - DSC_9429
  1. The Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) when on the move, note that the silver plates on the abdomen are relatively small and spotty

  2. Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) - DSC_9752
  3. After letting it rest for a while, the Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) seems to have expanded it's silver plates.

  4. Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) - DSC_9767
  5. After an hour, the silver plates expanded to fill almost the entire abdomen!

  6. Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) - DSC_9978
  7. I continued the observation, and it closed up further. The top view of the Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) still revealed it's heart-line surrounded by red patches

  8. Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) - DSC_9986
  9. To highlight the reflectiveness, I tried positioning the flash all over the place

  10. Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) - DSC_9975
  11. This was the closest I got of the silver-plates at their largest. This Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) is indeed fascinating!

  12. Comb-Footed Spider (Steatoda sp.) - DSC_9830
  13. Another interesting find was this male Comb-Footed Spider (Steatoda sp.) with elevated ocular region. This is just a tentative ID, trying to confirm it as it didn't seem to fit the descriptions entirely.

  14. Comb-Footed Spider (Steatoda sp.) - DSC_9834
  15. Front view of the Comb-Footed Spider (Steatoda sp.)

  16. Comb-Footed Spider (Steatoda sp.) - DSC_9836
  17. Dorsal view of the Comb-Footed Spider (Steatoda sp.)

  18. Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae) - DSC_9876
  19. James found this beautiful Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae) outside his house!

  20. Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae) - DSC_9885
  21. Lovely colours of the Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae)

  22. Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae) - DSC_9899
  23. The Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae) slept quite soundly after running about for a while

  24. Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae) - DSC_9939
  25. Could even shoot from many different angles

  26. Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae) - DSC_9871
  27. Final shot before we let it zzzz in peace

The complete album can be viewed here.