Panasonic LUMIX GX8 + Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f2.8 Macro, ISO 1250, 1/125 s, f/7.1

This week’s picture shows a crab spider on a leaf. Crab spiders or Thomisidae are a very common family of spiders with over 2100 species. The sample here is a small Xysticus species. Crab spiders are distinguished by their large and strong front four legs which are used to catch prey. Instead of building nets, they engage in a sit-and-wait-hunting. Unlike other spiders, crab spiders are often bright or even colored to blend in with their hunting ground. Their agile gait (they can move sideways and even backward) further manifested the name crab spider. See this video for some crab spider hunting action.

To handle my small crab spider, I used the leaf seen in the picture. Dropping the spider on the plexiglass surface and covering it with the leaf worked best. After a second or two, the spider appeared on the leaf and nearly immediately would run off – no chance to adjust anything. As continuous lighting, I used one of the IKEA’s JANSJĂ–* lamps. These lamps are a budget alternative to professional continuous lighting solutions for macro photography and with their handy gooseneck bracket, they are also very flexible.

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