Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spider Sniffing

This week I bought a pretty powerful LED headlight with the hopes of getting some night rides on the mountain bike. But then Dan told me that with a powerful flashlight, you can see spiders at night. It's called spider sniffing and it's really cool, it does work !

You just walk around at night with your light mounted as close to your eyes as possible facing forward and when you look down into a field, you'll see the reflection of spider's retinas from really far away, even small ones. Because they have 8 eyes, chances are one of them is pointing your way and you'll see a reflection.

I managed to get a picture of what it looks like to spot one from far away. Click on the pics to see properly.

The big ones are Huntsman Spiders from what I can tell and the smaller ones are burrowing Wolf Spiders. Both very common in Queensland. The ones in these pictures had sizes ranging from 2cm for the little guys up to 10cm leg-span like this one on the fence.

My setup for these shots was my Canon 60mm EF-S macro, plus diffused flash + LED headlight, so the lighting almost looks like daylight, but these were taken in pitch dark.

Notice the two outer eyes on the top row, they're inside a cavity and facing almost completely backwards!

Mmmm, fuzzy !

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