Saturday, August 24, 2013

Lynx Spider

Description, behavior, feeding and habitat

     Lynx spiders are the members of the family Oxyopidae. They all are hunting spiders that spend their lives on plants, flowers and shrubs. At least one species has been identified as exhibiting social behaviour.There are several genera and they tend to differ in their habits and adaptations. For example most Oxyopes and Hamataliwa species are small to medium in size; they tend to be drab and especially the latter tend to be ambush hunters in ways resembling the crab spiders (Thomisidae). Some occupy flowers and wait for pollinating insects, whereas others lie in wait on plant stalks or bark. The Peucetia species on the other hand, commonly are larger, vivid green, and rangy; they are active runners and leapers. Oxyopidae in general rely on keen eyesight in stalking, chasing, or ambushing prey, and also in avoiding enemies. Six of their eight eyes are arranged in a hexagon-like pattern, a characteristic that identifies them as members of the family Oxyopidae. The other two eyes are smaller and generally situated in front and below the other six.

     The Oxyopidae also have spiny legs, and in many species those legs, augmented by the spines, seem to be used as a sort of catching-basket in trapping flying insects.Common genera in the United States include Oxyopes — the common lynx spiders — and Peucetia — the green lynx spiders.Some members of the genus Oxyopes are abundant enough to be important in agricultural systems as biological control agents. This is especially true of the striped lynx spider (Oxyopes salticus).A member of the genus Tapinillus is remarkable as being one of the few social spiders, living in colonies.

    Amazing moments I experienced to learn from this Lynx spider, its patience, perseverance and tolerance in handling its prey. The last capture, including all photographs are full-frame and as captured from the camera, with almost no-cropping done on them. My Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II lens has been very handy for these Close-ups or Macro of the Lynx Spider and many tiny creatures of nature which I often find in my morning nature walk in our garden. I was also using Extension Tubes, 12mm, 24mm and 36mm to get the last image, so much closer than what can be seen by a normal human eye. My Gadget combination also included the Lens Reversal Ring, which helps to get spectacular magnification of tiny subjects, although my Camera body was a Canon EOS 7D SLR, a wonderful body to hand-hold for Macro photography.

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