tags: Of Venom and Silk, arachnids, spiders, new species, endangered species, NYC, New York City, AMNH, American Museum of Natural History, streaming video Spider biologist Norman Platnick, from the American Museum of Natural History, has traveled the world cataloguing some of these creatures, many for the first time ever. World renowned for his work, he hopes to find as many as species as possible before some disappear.
Arachnids (you know, spiders and mites and things) never had much of a presence in my photo galleries.  While I could chalk their absence up to an obsessive focus on formicids, the reality is that I'm mildly arachnophobic.  Photographing spiders makes me squirm, so I don't do it very often. Oddly, it really is just spiders.  I don't have any trouble with opilionids, mites, or even scorpions. And it isn't all spiders, either. I'm rather fond of salticids. But there's something about the form of some spiders that touches off a deeply instinctual revulsion. Embarrassing for an entomologist,…
It's Thursday night.  Here's a tick: Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper
Take that, vertebrate scum! Incidentally, my wife used to have one of these Nephila spiders nesting in the high ceiling of her living room when she was living in Queensland.  I guess she used it to dissuade potential suitors, but somehow I made it through.
A close-in crop of the body: photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon 20D ISO 100, f/13, 1/250sec exposure