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Crab spider with fungus infection? No, just pollen grains
  
 
e6filmuser
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Crab spider with fungus infection? No, just pollen grains


This species of spider Misumena vatia is common on flowers in gardens. I usually try to photograph it interacting i.e. with prey. This one, partially changed to its yellow form, looked so good against the pale, pastel pink of a hollyhock that I decided to make an exception. I was framing for compostion, with the spider taking up about a quarter of the frame.

I had considerable trouble seeing clearly, due to the diopter adjustment on the viewfinder having been moved. Anyway, I eventually got some images. I couldn't see them well enough to review in-camera in the sunlight so I retreated indoors. Then I was surprised to see numerous, tiny spheres attached by thin stalks to the anterior parts of the spider. It had to be a parasitic fungus, something I have never observed in many years of macro.

I transfered the images to my PC and processed them and then returned to take some closer shots of the spider. It was nowhere to be found so these are all I can offer.

In the circumstances, I forgot about composition and cropped close to the spider.

Well, it was interacting after all, but not to its advantage.

E-M1 on manual, Kiron 105 f16 ISO 400, twin TTL flash, hand-held.

Harold



Harold Gough 2014





Harold Gough 2014



Edited on Jul 20, 2014 at 06:54 AM · View previous versions



Jul 19, 2014 at 04:28 PM
Dudewithoutape
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Crab spider with fungus infection? No, just pollen grains


It did not like it's picture getting taken, perhaps it was embarrassed of its state.

What shutter speed did you use for these excellent photos?




Jul 19, 2014 at 04:45 PM
e6filmuser
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Crab spider with fungus infection? No, just pollen grains


Dudewithoutape wrote:
It did not like it's picture getting taken, perhaps it was embarrassed of its state.

What shutter speed did you use for these excellent photos?


Thanks 1/160 sec, although the flash duration is usually of more importance.

Harold




Jul 19, 2014 at 07:30 PM
philshoots
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Crab spider with fungus infection? No, just pollen grains


Good one H! Is it possible they are pollen grains?

Phil



Jul 19, 2014 at 10:00 PM
 

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e6filmuser
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Crab spider with fungus infection? No, just pollen grains


philshoots wrote:
Good one H! Is it possible they are pollen grains?


Pollen grains were my first thought but the distribution and the stalks (possible an optical illusion) indicate otherwise. I could yet be proven to be mistaken but there are examples to be found on the internet.

Harold



Jul 20, 2014 at 04:58 AM
e6filmuser
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Crab spider with fungus infection? No, just pollen grains


e6filmuser wrote:
Pollen grains were my first thought but the distribution and the stalks (possible an optical illusion) indicate otherwise. I could yet be proven to be mistaken but there are examples to be found on the internet.


I found the spider again this morning. I have taken more shots but my software is not available to me until a major (bad sector) scan finishes. However, I have reviewed the images in the camera. I conclude that, if it is the same spider, the number of spherical objects has clearly reduced. I have also reviewed, in the camera, an image of possibly the same spider eating a honey bee. The pollen grains in that one look just like the objects on this spider. Quite why so many are hanging down is a mystery. It seems that the "stalks" are an optical illusion after all.

I will post the new images, which were shot, at ISO 200 instead of 400, with the spider filling the frame, when my PC has been cleaned up. In the meantime, I have edited the title of this topic.

Harold



Jul 20, 2014 at 06:53 AM
e6filmuser
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Crab spider with fungus infection? No, just pollen grains


e6filmuser wrote:
I found the spider again this morning. I have taken more shots but my software is not available to me until a major (bad sector) scan finishes. However, I have reviewed the images in the camera. I conclude that, if it is the same spider, the number of spherical objects has clearly reduced. I have also reviewed, in the camera, an image of possibly the same spider eating a honey bee. The pollen grains in that one look just like the objects on this spider. Quite why so many are hanging down is a mystery. It seems that the "stalks"
...Show more

Computer now fixed, the images are below. The first with the spider hiding behind the flower bud, facing the inflorescence stem, the other with it back in normal, hunting mode. I don't know why but the images from this session were exceptionally contrasty, only this one without the highlights totally burnt out.

For the first session, my plastic tilt hot shoe adapter was twisting prior to its foot breaking, so the flash may not have be directed quite as intended. For the others, it had broken and the gun was clamped against the bracket, slightly lower than usual, by gripping with my hand. A new, hopefully more robust, adapter is on order.

Harold





Harold Gough 2014





Harold Gough 2014





Harold Gough 2014




Jul 21, 2014 at 01:46 PM





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