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Ultraviolet Fluorescence in Spiders

It is rather common knowledge that scorpions emit a bright blue glow under ultraviolet light. Recently, we've found that some millipedes and harvestmen exhibit the same behavior as well. This made us shine our UV torches at almost every subject we saw. What resulted on this night, was a really pleasant discovery. :)

Update 20 Nov 2013: My UV photos were recently published on WIRED, with more details on this phenomenon: The Secret World of Fluorescent Arthropods.

    Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) - DSC_9463
  1. Victor found this Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) which we often shot. This is the rear view.

  2. Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) - DSC_9466
  3. The Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) dangling on it's web.

  4. Bird-Dung Orb Weaver (Pasilobus sp.) - DSC_8478
  5. The web of this Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) is a bizarre array of dangling silk lined with sticky droplets to catch prey. The spider waits patiently on the far-right.

  6. Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) - DSC_9524
  7. Face to face with the Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.)

  8. Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) - DSC_9805
  9. Lo and behold, under ultraviolet light, the Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.) illuminates to resemble some precious blue stone!! Even the eyes were a creepy blue! Thanks to Melvyn for taking the effort to shine the UV light at almost every subject we saw that night. :P

  10. There were actually many other interesting subjects in the night... gonna be a long post!

    Flatid Planthopper (Flatidae) - DSC_9267
  11. Many Flatid Planthoppers (Flatidae) lined the branches of trees along the path, including it's nymphs. We searched for one emerging from a moult to no avail.

  12. Comb-Footed Spider (Theriididae) - DSC_9271
  13. A beautiful Comb-Footed Spider (Chrysso sp.?) was found hiding under a leaf

  14. Comb-Footed Spider (Theriididae) - DSC_9283
  15. Another Comb-Footed Spider (Theriididae), looks like a male

  16. Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_9286
  17. Found a Jumping Spider (Salticidae) guarding her spiderlings, but it was way too high and I couldn't get a good shot.

  18. Garden Spider (Eriovixia pseudocentrodes) - DSC_9295
  19. Andy found this Garden Spider (Eriovixia pseudocentrodes) with a pointed abdomen

  20. Garden Spider (Eriovixia pseudocentrodes) - DSC_9304
  21. The Garden Spider (Eriovixia pseudocentrodes) looked pregnant and could be laying eggs soon! Actually the term should be gravid, which means carrying eggs, while pregnant means carrying live young. Thanks to Mark for pointing it out. :) I still tend to use terms for mammals in the captions, as I usually end up anthropomorphising the subjects.

  22. Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - DSC_9317
  23. It was a pleasant surprise to find a Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) fresh out of moult. Unfortunately the rest were far ahead and I could not call them back to take some shots of this fella.

  24. Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - DSC_9322
  25. Dangling only by a single line of silk, the Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) was spinning wildly!

  26. Mantis Parasitic Wasp (Podagrion sp.) - DSC_9337
  27. Melvyn found this tiny Mantis Parasitic Wasp (Podagrion sp.) on a mantis ootheca (egg mass), maybe 5mm body length!

  28. Mantis Parasitic Wasp (Podagrion sp.) - DSC_9361
  29. The Mantis Parasitic Wasp (Podagrion sp.) was busy ovipositing (laying eggs) into the mantis ootheca!

  30. Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) - DSC_9371
  31. There were many Long-Legged Sac Spiders (Miturgidae) running around

  32. Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) - DSC_9377
  33. The Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) typically has very long chelicerae

  34. Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_9385
  35. I found this cute Jumping Spider (Salticidae) just beside the Miturgid!

  36. Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_9389
  37. The patterns on this Jumping Spider (Salticidae) were quite pretty

  38. Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.) - DSC_9400
  39. The others found this male Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.) with it's usual Ogre-Face.

  40. Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.) - DSC_9409
  41. The palps of the male Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.) are swollen, all ready to mate!

  42. Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.) - DSC_9414
  43. The stick-like body of the Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.) camouflages itself well among thin twigs

  44. Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.) - DSC_9418
  45. Final shot of the classic ogre-face :)

  46. Cone-Headed Grasshopper (Pseudomorphacris sp.) - DSC_9421
  47. A common Cone-Headed Grasshopper (Pseudomorphacris sp.) from an unusual view

  48. Golden Comb Footed Spider (Chrysso sp.) - DSC_9422
  49. Juvenile Golden Comb Footed Spider (Chrysso sp.)

  50. Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) - DSC_9431
  51. Another Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae). This one looks pregnant with the large abdomen!

  52. Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) - DSC_9436
  53. Close up on the face of the Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae)

  54. Praying Mantis (Acromantis sp.) - DSC_9445
  55. Interesting pose of the Praying Mantis (Acromantis sp.)

  56. Broad-Headed Bugs (Alydidae) - DSC_9449
  57. Melvyn found this pair of mating Broad-Headed Bugs (Alydidae)

  58. Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) - DSC_9460
  59. This Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) was just above the broad-headed bugs but refused to stop walking!

  60. Ant (Formicidae) - DSC_9504
  61. Say Yiam, Ron and Kit Ming were shooting this queen ant that has dropped her wings

  62. Ant (Formicidae) - DSC_9506
  63. The colours were lovely!! But I wondered if she could still start her colony as she appeared to be walking around weakly.

  64. Mantis - DSC_9540
  65. One of the common Mantids on the ground, so I took a customary passport photo. :)

  66. Leaf-Rolling Weevil (Attelabidae) - DSC_9620
  67. The permanent resident of the park, the Leaf-Rolling Weevil (Attelabidae), finally made an appearance!

  68. Mantis Parasitic Wasp (Podagrion sp.) - DSC_9570
  69. Say Yiam found another Mantis Parasitic Wasp (Podagrion sp.)

  70. Mantis Parasitic Wasp (Podagrion sp.) - DSC_9604
  71. This time I managed to go closer

  72. Mantis Parasitic Wasp (Podagrion sp.) - DSC_9646
  73. And then the Mantis Parasitic Wasp (Podagrion sp.) started ovipositing again!

  74. Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) - DSC_9607
  75. Yet another Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) with a caterpillar prey!

  76. Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) - DSC_9636
  77. Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) sucking on the juices of the caterpillar

  78. Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) - DSC_9688
  79. Shot of the Long-Legged Sac Spider's hungry face!

  80. Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.) - DSC_9691
  81. On our way out, the others in the group spotted a Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.) on it's web

  82. Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.) - DSC_9694
  83. The Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.) cringed as we went closer

  84. Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.) - DSC_9698
  85. Dorsal view of the Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.).. can't tell that it's a spider from here!

  86. Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.) - DSC_9702
  87. The Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.) started to dance around

  88. Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.) - DSC_9721
  89. It then ran to hide under a leaf and stared at me

  90. Garden Spider (Parawixia sp.) - DSC_9705
  91. Final subject of the night.. a Garden Spider (Parawixia sp.)

  92. Garden Spider (Parawixia sp.) - DSC_9709
  93. View of the abdomen

The complete album can be viewed here.

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