Monday, April 26, 2010


Myth: "Arachnid" is just a fancy name for spider.

Fact: There are eleven orders of arachnids. These include the scorpions; mites and ticks,           harvestmen, pseudoscorpions, whipscorpions, solpugids, and spiders.

Myth: You can always tell a spider because it has eight legs.

Fact: Not exactly. Scorpions, harvestmen, ticks, and in fact all arachnids - not just spiders - have four pairs of legs.Insects have three pairs. Also, notice that I said "four pairs" instead of "eight." The number of leg pairs (one pair per leg-bearing segment) is more significant than individual legs, which can be lost.

Although spiders are often unpopular, the venom of most species is not very toxic to humans, usually resulting in no more than a slight swelling, inflammation, or itching sensation. Most spiders fangs are too small or weak to puncture human skin. Spiders usually will not attempt to bite unless accidentally trapped against the skin or grasped, although some species actively guard their egg sacs or young.  The most harmful species of spiders in North america are the Brown Recluse Spider, and the Black Widow Spider. Several species of sac spiders (clubionids) are suspected of being responsible for most spider bites, especially ones occurring indoors. Sac spider venom is cytotoxic, causing tissues at the bite site to die. However, the vast majority of spiders are harmless to humans.

Even though I am an avid macro photographer, I do not have many good spider photos. I am just not a big fan of them.There are many macro shooters who specialize in them an have some amazing photos. I do like the photos where you can see their 6 or 8 eyes, but having suffered many, many bites over the years, I just mostly ignore them. Several of these shots are Argiopes, or Black and Yellow Garden Spiders, found almost everywhere in  North America. I was shooting Butterflies when the tiny Jumping Spider appeared on the end of the Anthurium Flower. Not sure what the other one is, but he is making short work of the damselfly trapped in his web. 

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