Hi y'all! Sorry I haven't posted in awhile... Things got a bit crazy, but I'm back with more photos!
Tonight I give you the Orchard Orbweaver spider - I'm promise it's much smaller than it looks here!
The Orchard Orbweaver, Leucauge venusta, is a common spider in the Southeast. According to BugGuide its habitat is: “Woodlands. Builds in low shrubs or small trees, close to the ground" and it can be identified by the “slightly elongated abdomen marked with silver, yellow, black, green, and bright orange or pink spots. Spins its web at an angle and hangs in the center. - What's That Bug
The genus name Leucauge is Greek for “with a bright gleam,” and it is actually the only spider name created by Charles Darwin himself (Cameron 2005). The specific epithet, venusta, is Latin for charming, elegant, or beautiful. - Spiders.us
For this shot, I had a tripod, a 100mm macro lens and two Canon extension tubes. I also had an external flash mounted on my camera, which I used to bounce light off of a large reflector.
The shot was taken in manual mode, with an ISO of 500, an aperture of f/8.0, and a shutterspeed of 1/200 seconds. I also darkened the black background, sharpened the image and added just a tad of vibrance. The background turned out naturally dark, not because it was actually night-time, but due to the nature of using flash.
In lightroom I rotated the picture - the spider is actually hanging up-side down, weaving its web.
I love how you can see the tiny sensory hairs on the spider's back legs.
All legs are covered in spines and hairs, but perhaps the most noticeable characteristic is the long brush of trichobothria (special sensory hairs) on the femurs of the 4th legs. These look very much like a pair of fake eyelashes, actually! In the female, the legs are typically green, sometimes with dark rings at the joints. In the adult male, the legs may be green, yellow, brown, or orange, often also with dark rings at the joints. Each tarsus (tip of leg) has 3 claws. - Spiders.us