Living in the past XXIII

portrait of crab spider Tmarus angulatus
Yeah, another spider, but seriously, this was going to come up because it’s my favorite spider portrait. So far, anyway. Listen, I know that “favorite spider portrait” is a phrase that most people maintain really shouldn’t exist, but if you’re gonna do it, you might as well take a little pride in it sometimes, right? And to my warped brain and I, this worked; the light angle and intensity were right to bring up all those subtle variations in both coloration and shaping, with a catchlight in the eyes to boot, focus was bang-on, and even the position is dynamic and distances it from the typical ‘clinical illustration’ style of most arthropod images. It also helps that this is one of the few species with a pair of prominent eyes, which makes us relate to them better, just about ignoring all those other eyes that some inner sense tells us shouldn’t be there. But on top of all that, there’s the knowledge of the negligible size: the overall length with the legs stretched out in this manner is 15mm, making it just 1mm between the main eyes. Take out a ruler and look at that, and know that the whole spider appeared to be a dark stripe atop her rolled-up egg shelter.

That egg shelter says something else, too, in that not everyone found her ugly. Perhaps I’m identifying too much here…

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