Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Ladybird, Spider or a Ladybird-spider?

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Looking around for bugs to photograph, I came across this which I assumed was a ladybird. On closer inspection, I thought it was a rather strange shape for a ladybird!
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Turning the leaf around to reveal the front, I was surprised to see some menacing eyes and arms tucked underneath the ladybird shell! This one was a spider!
Ladybird, Spider or Ladybird SpiderLadybird, Spider or Ladybird Spider
I`ve never seen a spider using this mimicry before and when I searched the net for a spider mimicing a ladybird, all I could come up with is information about a rare species which was almost extinct. That one (Eresus cinnaberinus) though is different from our spider here.
Ladybird, Spider or Ladybird SpiderLadybird, Spider or Ladybird Spider
This spider appeared to be extremely clumsy and slow and when it tried to walk along the leaf, it overturned several times. The only thing that appeared to save it from falling off was its web.
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Ladybird, Spider or Ladybird SpiderLadybird, Spider or Ladybird Spider
Having posted photos of this online, I havent got a reply from anyone who has seen it before, so I`m wondering if this one is a rare species tooWong Chun Xing, kindly identified this species as Paraplectana duodecimmaculata.
Ladybird, Spider or Ladybird Spider
This fellow was seen crouching beneath a banana tree leaf in the morning . I left it there after my photo shoot. When I checked later that evening, it was still in the same place. I wonder how many more like this one exists in our backyard.
Ladybird, Spider or Ladybird Spider
These images were obtained using a Minolta 100mm f2.8 lens with a Delta ringflash for lighting.

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