Spiders No.5 – My, what large pedipalps you have!

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Walter Piorkowski
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:42 pm
Location: South Beloit, Ill

Spiders No.5 – My, what large pedipalps you have!

Post by Walter Piorkowski »

Image

Image

Image




Upper Image:
Leitz Ortholux microscope
4X Leitz projection eyepiece plus 32:1 relay lens
Leitz 2.5X Plan achromat objective.
Image stack, 21 images at .005 inch increments
Reflected light, diffused fiber optic illumination
Canon 50D
Zerene and Photoshop processing.
Live subject.

Middle image:
Leitz Ortholux microscope
4X Leitz projection eyepiece plus 32:1 relay lens
Leitz 4X Plan fluorite objective.
Image stack, 47 images at .0025 inch increments
Reflected light, diffused fiber optic illumination
Canon 50D
Zerene and Photoshop processing.
Live subject.

Lower image:
Crop of lower right of middle image.


The twin bulbous organs at the front of this spider are the largest pedipalps I have yet seen. I am aware that on male spiders these palps play some role in the sexual reproduction, yet these show no complicated structure. This specimen may be female or maybe an immature male. Any experts out there?

Please also note the hairs on the third leg from the front. It too has additional fine hairs that the resolution of the 4x objective barely brings out. A crop of the middle image is provided to better show the feature. It is a shame that the objective did not have more resolution to show the hairs on the hairs of the legs. They are almost like feathers.

Walt

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

I'm betting on immature male, but I am emphatically not an expert in this field.

Those hairs are interesting and new to me. I have seen fully feathered hairs before (for example HERE), but I've not noticed hairs where the feathering is reduced to more like fine barbs as in yours.

--Rik

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

I have spiders like this around my house too. Photographed a few but never got one under the scope like this. Evidently this one is alive, as the legs are not contracted or disabled, meaning that the hemolymph is still pumping through them or am I wrong? :| Anyway, good post just the same there Walt! :smt023

Walter Piorkowski
Posts: 693
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:42 pm
Location: South Beloit, Ill

Post by Walter Piorkowski »

Wow Rik what an impressive image you referenced me to. I recognized it right away. I have been looking for examples of the pedipalp you imaged after seeing some sketches in reference books. I will be taking some similar images in the future I hope. Was the spider you removed it from a large specimen? When you have time, how were you able to do the dissection of such a small organ without damage that would show up in the final image?

Ken. How have you been, good to hear from you and thanks. Yes this specimen was quite alive and well for this photo shoot.

Walt.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Walter Piorkowski wrote:Was the spider you removed it from a large specimen? When you have time, how were you able to do the dissection of such a small organ without damage that would show up in the final image?
Memories have faded in the last 2-1/2 years, but if I recall correctly...

It was a medium sized funnel web spider from my garage, body length maybe 10-15 mm. I've added the ID to the original thread; BugGuide has a couple of pictures of the species.

The "dissection" was basically just removal of the entire pedipalp from the spider, followed by supergluing the basal segment to a headless insect pin and keeping the palp extended while it dried. The bulb and all of its fittings is pretty hard and not easily damaged as long as the rest of the palp is still fresh. Now that it's all dry, I imagine it could be damaged by touching.

--Rik

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