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Canibalism !

 
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LSRasmussen



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 67
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 8:34 am    Post subject: Canibalism ! Reply with quote

Hi all,

While I'm working on the changes to my stacking rig, I still find time to sit in the garden with a beer or two ! ;-) So there I was, minding my own, when I noticed one of my friends crawling on our house wall. For the last 2 years, I've been following a family of Jumping Spiders that live in small holes in our brick wall. They are the most common species here in Denmark, Salticus Scenicus also named the Zebra spider due to their stripes. So, there he was, out hunting, very systematically, covering about 5 square meters of the wall in 15 minutes or so. As I was enjoying a beer, I kept an eye on him on the off chance of seing him with pray. At some point, he disappeared into the shadows under our window and suddenly I see a very small insect rushing out from the shadow into the sun. Even faster, just behind it, the jumping spider followed and hunted it down within 3 inches. It did not jump and the prey did not try to fly away. So now the jumping spider carries the prey back to the shadowed area and starts to "digest" it. I'm off to get my camera ! ;-)

The following two images explains what happened. And I did not catch on until afterwards when I saw the images zoomed ! ;-)





I've never observed this kind of behaviour by jumping spiders before. In fact, I think they are well known for taking care of their young. Facinating creatures ! By the way, I timed how long it took for the jumping spider to digest the prey. 20 minutes ! Fast acting enzymes I guess !

//Lars
PS. Notice the huge fangs !
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a pinkish tint to this and the DOF is kind of disturbing. Maybe pull down the red channel in the software and stop down a bit more next time. Other than that... Think Unusaual to see a jumper eating on another but it happens I suppose. Hey, a spiders got to eat you know, as long as it is not on me. Laughing
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LSRasmussen



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 67
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken,

Thanks for your reply. You're right about the pinkish tint, I guess it's down to the color of the bricks which are sort of yellow/reddish. The only adjustments I've done is a bit of levels in Lightroom. I was in a bit of a hurry when I took the pictures and I had to shoot handheld and without flash. I used my D300 with the 105mm VR at f/11.

I might have a look at the original NEF files to see if I can do a better conversion later on.

//Lars
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
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Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know Lars, I never though of that but you are probably right about where the pinkish tint came from, the bricks. Wink I often times encounter the same thing when shooting among dried leaves and such, the images seems to have a "rusty" tint to them after I download them for a good look. Seems I forgot about that, sorry. Smile
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18917
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lars, this is an interesting sequence. I am not familiar with these particular spiders, but I wonder if perhaps there are two different species involved?

I agree the DOF is pretty shallow, but there's not a lot of time to make adjustments when behaviors like this pop up. You did a great job placing focus on the heads where it's needed most.

--Rik
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beetleman



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 3578
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn`t really see what was going on until you said "large fangs" and than I saw the prays abdomen Shocked
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Mike B in OKlahoma



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1048
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took me awhile to figure out what was happening here! I agree about the pinkish tint and the likely origin. An excellent behavior capture, and I fully agree about having to "just go with it" on DOF placement sometimes during action shots.

I'm a bit surprised to see cannibalism among a species that takes care of their young, but it does happen. I know some fish that take care of their young will turn around and eat them if they're badly disturbed. Believe it or not, prairie dog mothers will sometimes eat young of other PD mothers when the mother leaves her babies underground while she goes to the surface to eat. This is weird for a couple of reasons--The mothers are often siblings, and because once the youngsters get old enough to come on the surface themselves, mothers will often let young who aren't their own nurse from them, including youngsters they may have tried to kill a week or two earlier!
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
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Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Bigger the city, the brighter the lights. Bigger the dog, the harder the bite." (L. Skynard) This spider may be little but that bite sure isn't. See why I have a phobia about spiders? Shocked
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LSRasmussen



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 67
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik,

I do believe it's the same species. The markings on the preys back certainly looks like a small Zebra spider. And yes, I do admit these images were done in a hurry as when it comes to jumping spiders one has to be quick. Also, I might have had a beer to much ! ;-)

Regarding canibalism and spiders, there is at least one species of jumping spider that hunts (yes, I do mean hunts !) other spiders and that's the most intelligent jumping spider called Portia. Portia is able to plan (!) and setup traps for other spiders. Unfortunately they don't live here in the "cold" north so I'll have to make do with my Zebra spiders....

Here's a bit of info :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portia_(spider)

//Lars
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