Ok, so how not to ID a Spider!?
That’s simple, just do what I did – pick up your camera, make a picture, pack your bags and get back home to not open what you clicked for the next two years or more..
It is rather amusing, how sometimes the photographer in us takes over the child in us. Want it or not, the camera shutter impulsively bursts while the childlike curiosity goes missing. All we end up doing is creating massive loads media which is worth nothing but trash.
Now, let us get to the flashback..
That late evening stroll in the western ghats had actually proved to be quite productive – snakes, tree crabs, bush frogs, moths and what not. However, having battled the rain in total darkness in excess of two hours, the observer in me started to take a back seat and the ‘be done with it’ photographer took over.
At this juncture, a spider, beautifully webbed appeared and boom went the camera trigger. Light, exposure, composition, all got a tick.. But that’s about it.
You ask me which spider? I don’t know..
What was it doing? No idea..
Will I see it agin? Mostly no..
With all these ‘NOs’, I sit back here wondering why did I photograph this spider at all!?
Today, even after a couple of years later, these image(s) continue to rest in the comfort of a cold hard drive. Nothing more, nothing less.
Now that you have come this far in my journey, let me share a few quick bytes on what I would do ‘Next time’ if I see a spider..:
So, how to ID a Spider!?
- Observe the colouring, make note of the shape of the legs, examine the eyes. These will perhaps help ‘know’ the spider relatively better..
More importantly, is this indeed a spider..?
- Unlike insects, which have three body segments, spiders only have two.
- Spiders have eight legs. Don’t mistake an insect’s antennae for legs.
- No species of spider has wings.
And yes, I will look for common species of spiders in the region, match with the given habit and narrow down on the ID.
Popular hypothesis dictates – no matter where you live, you are not farther than ten feet from a spider. So why not get to know them better and appreciate our fellow earthling. (There are about 35,000 known spider species in the world, however, be rest assured that most of these spiders cause no harm)
PS: All necessary precaution was exercised by us to not harm or disturb the subject and habitat.
Place: Amboli, Maharashtra, India
Season: August 2017
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