Three for Thursday.

Lots of seed heads in the paddock at the moment, plenty of good tucker for
Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Little Corellas, and Galahs. Click to enlarge.

cockatoo


corella


galah

The study of nature….

….can take many forms, some people specialise, for example on orchids, or birds, in the process becoming authorities, and I admire them for their dedication. I seem to wander haphazardly from one thing to another, and lately the emphasis has been on photography of small creatures with six or eight legs. When I received an email from Mitch of the Woolenook Native Nursery informing me that we were going peacock hunting, I thought for a moment that I might be heading in a different direction for a change. But no, after a drive north we finished up on a dry forest hillside with only a kookaburra looking down sardonically at me. The peacocks we were after were the wonderful little Peacock Jumping Spiders, Maratus volans, the subject of spectacular photos and videos by Dr. Jurgen Otto, many can seen on YouTube. There are many different species in the genus Maratus, Mitch has found and photographed five locally, you can see them on Bowerbird. It wasn’t long before we found one in the leaf litter, Maratus plumosus, the Blue-thighed Jumping Spider, I didn’t catch this species displaying to a female, but did get shots of one signalling with its third legs.

maratus plumosus


maratus plumosus

Another was found soon after, but then a call from Mitch had me exchanging gazes with Maratus volans the Peacock Jumping Spider.

m. volans


m.volans

The female is very different, one was close by but we didn’t see the display on this occasion.

m volans

My thanks to Mitch for introducing me to the world of these fantastic little spiders.

Click to enlarge.

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