spiders

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Amazing Photography Science

A Caterpillar in the Amazon Rainforest Camouflages Itself as an 8-Legged Tarantula Spider

December 18, 2020

Christopher Jobson

In an exquisite if not terrifying act of self-preservation, the Monkey Slug Caterpillar has evolved to disguise itself as a predator, mimicking the form and color of a Tarantula Spider on its back. Nature photographer David Weiller captured this particular specimen while in the Amazon Rainforest of Puyo, Ecuador. He shares:

This mesmerizing caterpillar mimics a hairy tarantula spider with its oddly long hairy arms curling out. When looking at the underside, it looks like a slug with its suction cups prolegs and its tiny legs. This caterpillar is the larvae of the hag moth.

Weiller shares incredible animal and insect discoveries from rainforests in Ecuador, Malaysia, Madacascar and elsewhere on his YouTube channel. Start with the “Walking Soft Ice Cream Bug” or the Lichen Katydid. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Art

Antique Watches, Cameras, and Medical Equipment Morph Into Meticulous Steampunk Spiders

November 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Peter Szucsy, shared with permission

For 25 years, art director and artist Peter Szucsy has filled his days with rendering the bizarre, sinister beasts that run rampant through video games. “I have made many creatures, monsters in the virtual world… but a few years ago I felt it is about time to create something different,” he says of his time working in the industry. “So I left my computer and made lots of my ideas come alive in the real world.”

The result is a curious menagerie of steampunk spiders that the Budapest-based artist assembles with parts of vintage watches, cameras, and medical equipment. Each week, Szucsy scours a flea market near his home to find materials that include rare, pricey timepieces, although the artist notes he avoids dismantling anything that a museum or institution would value. In his studio, he parses the found metals and meticulously crafts the articulate eight-legged creatures.

Szucsy holds a degree in illustration from Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design and plans to launch an online shop to sell some of the spiders in the coming days. You can follow his latest creatures, which he hopes to include dragonflies and praying mantises, on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Oversized Spiders by Mister Finch Transform Vintage Textiles into Fairytale Sculptures

October 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mister Finch, shared with permission

Leeds-based artist Mister Finch (previously) thrifts scraps of brocades and cottons to shape into fantastical creatures that are both whimsical and slightly unnerving. His recent pieces include a series of oversized spiders that the artist photographs suspended from the ceiling or scaling his workshop wall. “The past few years my work has become more sculpture-based with my creatures pretty much all stood up and attached to bases.” Finch writes. “I love the way this looks and enables me to dress and humanize them, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Although the ongoing pandemic has stifled the artist’s foraging of fabrics and other materials in recent months, Finch notes that he’s been pulling textiles from his home stash and occasionally visiting fairs and markets. He’s also been scaling down his sculptures so that they’re easier to handle without assistance.

Finch published two books filled with his fairytale-style sculptures and settings in recent years—and currently is working on a third—which you can purchase in his shop along with cards and totes. Dive further into his eccentric projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft

Colorful Spider Embroideries by Adam Pritchett

January 1, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Adam Pritchett is an embroidery artist based in Lake District, England, a countryside famous for its forests, lakes, and mountains. From these bucolic surroundings he draws inspiration for his minimalist botanical embroideries that usually feature flowers, vines, and tiny insect inhabitants. For a particularly ingenious series, Pritchett stitched a variety of spiders into the canvas, turning gaping holes in the fabric into spider webs. You can follow more of Pritchett’s needlework on Instagram and he sells many of his original pieces in his online shop. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Photography Science

Photographer Nicky Bay Documents Mirror Spiders Adjusting their Silver Plates to Appear More Reflective

September 22, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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All photos © Nicky Bay.

For the last several years Singapore-based photographer Nicky Bay (previously here and here) has been documenting the life of the mirror spider, an unusual arthropod whose abdomen is covered in bright reflective panels that appear almost metallic. Bay recently noticed that some of the spiders exhibit unusual behavior in addition to their shiny appearance: apparently the spiders are able manipulate the mirrors in situations where they might feel threatened. In some instances the gaps between the silver plates almost completely disappear creating a larger reflective surface.

Bay continues to update his original post about the mirror spiders on his blog with new photography, and you can see a massive archive of macro insect photos on Flickr.

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Photography Science

This Microscopic View of a Spider Embryo is Strangely Adorable

February 23, 2016

Christopher Jobson

spider-embryo

Spider embryo. Molecular characterization and embryonic origin of the eyes in the common house spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Göttingen University.

Taken from recent research into the development of eyes in spiders, this microscopic image shows what a common house spider looks like as it develops inside an egg. For some reason, it’s disturbingly… cute? This little cthulhu-like spider embryo is nearing the final stage before hatching and appears to be stuck in a tiny self hug. You can learn more about the embryonic origin of eyes in common house spider over on BioMed Central. (via Reddit, Göttingen University)

 

 

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