Geyser spider

Images of undisturbed subjects in their natural environment. All subject types.

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21193
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Geyser spider

Post by rjlittlefield »

Image

This medium-sized spider (legspan maybe 20 mm) lives on the surface of water pools formed by the outflow from geysers and springs in Yellowstone National Park. The warm water also supports a type of bacterial mat, which you can see on the bottom, several mm underneath the spider.

This one was photographed in the outflow from the Grand Prismatic Spring. Here's the habitat, with Excelsior Geyser in the background and the spider hiding just off extreme bottom of the frame.

Image

These are strictly arms-length shots, holding a Canon A710 just above water surface under the boardwalk.

There was also a small water beetle whizzing around under the surface a couple of centimeters away from the spider. But the beetle was only about 1 mm in length and I couldn't get anything decent of it.

Hope you find these interesting!

--Rik

Ken Ramos
Posts: 7208
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:12 pm
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

Post by Ken Ramos »

What I find to be most interesting is that bacterial mat. :-k The amount of pathogenic amoebae must be astounding, not to mention other thermophelic beasties living therein. Of course your spider too is quite interesting as to how it must be able survive in such an environment, along with water beetles and such, an ecosystem worth years of study and research I can imagine on an amateur scale. I cannot help but to imagine that places like this, is where it all began for life on earth. Very interesting there Rik. In my travels many years in the past now, I never had the chance, though I could have, to visit Yellowstone. So many past regrets, as they say hindsight is 20/20. Looks like a wonderful time. Thanks! :D

lauriek
Posts: 2402
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:57 am
Location: South East UK
Contact:

Post by lauriek »

I've never been to the US, and with the current "War on Terror" and flight hassle, I'm not likely to in the near future - but I would /love/ to go to Yellowstone!

Rik I'm very dissapointed you didn't fish out the little beetle and do a quick stack for us!! ;D

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21193
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Post by rjlittlefield »

Thanks for the comments, guys!

Ken, there are several kinds of bacterial mats, different critters living in different temperatures and chemistry. These muck brown ones are living in water that I'd call "tepid". There are some other rich reddish-brown ones that live in right toasty places though. I stuck a finger in one outflow that seemed safe, and it was, but it was also hot enough that I'd wear rubber gloves if I had to wash dishes in it. Tough little buggers!

--Rik

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic