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|...o its appearance, the autumn spider can easily can confused with the small autumn spider (Metellina mengei), which is similar in colour. . The species can be told apart by the shape of their genitals, their body size and the hair on the legs of the males.
The autumn spider can be encountered in a wide range of environments, at various altitudes. It prefers semi-open habitats such as forest edges, clearings, box, trees, lawns, gardens, hedgerows, bogs and swamps, where it can be found as a m...|
...aiting for prey. In case of danger or disturbance, the spider falls back into the vegetation and adopts a special posture as camouflage. At to the soil the autumn spider can often be found in the company of spiders from the family Linyphiidae.
Males survive mating, which occurs in September and lasts only a few minutes Before mating takes place a number of sexually mature males appear in the vicinity of the orb-web of the female , where they wait for the femaleís readiness to mate. If an insect gets caught in the femaleís web, the males race towards it and the fastest spider wraps the prey in silk and offers it as a "bridal gift" to the female. While the female spider eats the gift , the successful male starts a courtship ritual during which it drums and plucks at the threads of the web to get the full attention of the female. When the female is ready, she takes position on a mating string at the rear of the web. After mating the male spider leaves.
The female autumn spider creates several white, round cocoons onthe branches or the bark of trees for the protection of the eggs. Up to 100 yellow eggs are laid in these cocoons. A few days later the female autumn spider dies. The eggs overwinter in the cocoon. The new generation hatches in spring.
Some natural enemies of the autumn spider are: insectivores, birds and other spiders from the family pirate spiders (Mimetidae), for example species o...
|The fertilized females lay 20 - 30 oblong eggs, about 0. 5 mm in length, immediately after mating. This is done near the waterís edge, in the presence of the males who keep watch. After oviposition the females are guided back to the riparian vegetation by the males, and mating occurs again. The grip of the female on the male is so strong during mating that the blue wax layer at the end of the maleís abdomen dissolves and the tip turns black. |
|The Nigma walckenaeri is the largest species of Dictynidae in Central Europe. While the females reach body lengths of 4. 5 - 5. 0 mm, the males are 3. 5 - 4. 0 mm in length. They have small groups of white hairs all over their bodies. The front section of the femaleís body is yellowish brown to yellow, and the maleís is reddish-brown to brown. The maleís head appears posited markedly higher. The central eyes of these spiders are remarkably small. The front section of the chest (sternum) and the mouthparts are bright yellow in colour. |
|Male Omocestus rufipes reach body lengths of 12-17 mm, females 18-24 mm. The males are always darker than the females. The females usually have black brown, greyish brown to yellowish-brown or very occasionally reddish brown sides with shiny green backs, while the males have dark brown to black sides with yellowish brown backs.
The underside of the body of both sexes is (moving from front to rear) first green, then yellow then red. This colour change constitutes the most important identifying characteristic of t...|
...head corresponds to that of the back in both sexes. The antennae are black and have lighter tips. The maxillary and labial palpi are dark and also have lighter tips.
The thorax is black. The first segments of the abdomen are black The tip of the maleís abdomen is bright crimson. The wings go back as far as the hind knees and are mottled in the middle. The top halves are very dark. Due to their appearance, Omocestus rufipes can be confused with other species of grasshoppers.
|Bibionidae are dark, very hairy and resemble Diptera. They have large, evenly structured antennae on their heads. The males are very large, and have compound eyes of various dimensions on the upper side of the head which is hairy (the face too), while the females are smaller and hairless. The females have a spike to dig with on their forelegs. The colour of the male and female Bibionidae is different, the male being black and the female being reddish brown to amber. In spring and autumn Bibionidae often swarm en masse. They do not sting and they feed on nectar or honeydew. They contribute to the pollination of fruit trees. The insects mate within the swarm, and the males of the Bibio marci for example can become very aggressive. While the Nematocera are generally good flyers, i. e. the Bibio hortulanus are sluggish and slow.
The female Bibionidae lay up to 3, 000 eggs, individually or in small groups in the soil, where they are buried. The hatched larvae, which are resist to the cold, are usually hairy and are found en masse (especially in the upper layers of humus). They live on ...|