Eight-legged vaudeville

29 September 2009 40 Comments Home » Insects etc.

A spider does a little soft shoe, an old-time arachnid vaudeville act on a grass blade stage.

Whenever I post a spider image, I get no comments. I just returned from a dust-up on Facebook, advocating not killing spiders and taking some abuse from the spider-haters.

So is anyone brave enough to make a comment? Can a spider get cuter than this?
A spider does a little soft shoe


  • Denice said:

    I never kill spiders. They eat little bugs, so why bother them? Yea, Spiders!!

  • Rick said:

    Right on, Denice. If spiders are in a home, they’re eating bugs you probably don’t want, otherwise they’d die of starvation.

  • jason said:

    Fantastic shot!

    I happen to love spiders. They’re fascinating to watch and photograph, and they offer a free service I happen to find agreeable.

  • Rick said:

    Thanks Jason. Those long legs are really expressive.

  • Megan said:

    I love spiders also! I always shoe them away when I’m sweeping up or cleaning. If people really understood how helpful they are they’d never kill them. It was that darn Brady Bunch episode that made people everywhere afraid….Bravo spiders!

  • Rick said:

    You’re right, Megan. Ignorance is always the problem.

  • Mindy Lighthipe said:

    Awesome little fella!

  • John Riutta said:

    I have the same concern whenever I post spider images as well. Bravo for a superb photo!

  • Rick said:

    Thanks Mindy & John. I hesitate now before I post a spider image, but I’m glad I did. Maybe I need to ask more often about our reactions to these little alien beings.

  • Mairi said:

    Love it!

    I don’t like spiders in the house, but he is very cute – garden
    spiders are beautiful … in the garden.

    I once watched fascinated as a wasp caught a large black spider and
    proceeded to bite off its legs one by one, then flew with the poor legless thing up to its nest.

  • Rick said:

    Thanks Mairi. Wasps can be fierce predators, no compassion among these small creatures.

    And I believe this spider is a female, I think those are eggs she’s carrying.

  • Mairi said:

    aaah … I wondered if they were eggs she was carrying! I have watched spiders carrying a whole mass of tiny little spiderlings around on their backs.

  • Rick said:

    How can anyone dislike such a good mother, Mairi?

  • Alex said:

    Another brilliant shot, Rick!

  • Rick said:

    Thanks Alex. Always challenging, but worth it.

  • Denice said:

    Im longing for a pet tarantula. I’ll name him Harry !!!

  • Rick said:

    They’re actually kind of cuddly, Denice. And their bite is no worse than a bee sting.

  • Bogdan Ciocsan said:

    Wow, this is a great image, congrats Rick!
    Now about spiders, I’m afraid i can’t be around one, I’m allergic, my skin starts getting reddish just looking at one. 😉

  • Rick said:

    Thanks Bogdan. Sorry about the allergy, remember spiders are afraid of us, too.

  • Bogdan Ciocsan said:

    Yeah I know, it’s not their fault, my skin is too sensitive, and you’re most welcome.

  • max said:

    How can anyone who read “Charlotte’s Web” as a kid hate spiders? Nice to find someone else who enjoys these complex and fascinating creatures!

  • Rick said:

    Thanks Max. Charlotte’s Web is a great book. What about other fictional arachnids?

    Complex and fascinating creatures indeed.

  • Amy said:

    Whenever I hear some mother telling her daughter about good bugs and bad bugs, I’ve been known to chime in with a firm rebuttal. They’s all good. And without spiders, I can’t imagine how we’d be over-run with other six-leggers. Everything has a balance in nature. Thanks for posting this lovely image Rick – wonderful work!

  • Rick said:

    Good point, Amy. I like them all, and the predators are often the most interesting.

    We wouldn’t like a world without spiders.

  • TweedleTom said:

    Publishing spider pics is a great way to scare people off. I have had the same problem.

    A beautiful shot of a beautiful fella. I really love it! I doubt this guy has any strong maternal instincts tho. Spiders with their “boxing gloves” on are males.

  • Rick said:

    I’m glad it didn’t scare you away, Tom. I’ve gotten more comments than usual.

    And thanks for confirming that he’s a male.

  • zoe said:

    Wow! It actually does look like a vaudeville act.

    All your bugs have so much character . . .
    I don’t know how you get them to pose for you!

  • Rick said:

    Thanks Zoe. All this spider needs is a top hat, I’ll book her in the Catskills!

  • Steve said:

    This is an adult male mimetid, a “pirate spider.” Mimetids are obligate predators of other spiders, although in captivity they will take other prey. What look like eggs are actually the copulatory organs- all spiders transfer sperm indirectly with their palps (or “hands” if you prefer).

  • Rick said:

    Great! Thanks for identifying this spider, Steve.

    I always appreciate any help classifying the behavior or species of these animals.

  • Diane said:

    What an amazing balancing act, and another perfect shot He DOES look like he’s posing for you Rick. Siegfried or Roy of the insect world? I’ve always been a “live and let live” kinda girl! I go so far as to release any bugs, spiders or insects back outside (weather permitting).

    I could never understand those who kill something so much smaller than themselves, and for fun. That’s just too sad, every creature has a purpose and since we as humans tend to destroy ecosystems so rapidly, they have nowhere to go. WE are the intruders . . .

  • Rick said:

    Hopefully I’ll help to show how cool these spiders are. Once you see that, you’ll think differently.

  • Karin Holloway said:

    I had an Experience with a dying garden spider here in London. Changed me for forever.

    Still amazes me as I wasn’t looking for anything like what happened.
    Wish you could photograph the spiders in our park!

  • Rick said:

    Thanks for the comment, Karin. I would love to do this around the world. Cultural ambassador through wildlife photography.

  • Mary N Taitt said:

    I’ve always cohabited happily with spiders – including black widows! (Seriously)

  • John Weeks said:

    We had a few jumping spiders that lived in the nooks of our carpeted stairs.
    We raised our daughter, Olive, to just step around or over them.
    For years she would say “hellooo spider” every time she went upstairs.
    It’s one of our best memories.
    Of course we had no other bugs to really speak of.

  • Nate said:

    This is remarkable. Even though I have mild Arachnophobia I do find this spider adorable! I also find the jumping spiders to be quite adorable as well.

    I saw a video of your a noticed you were using a viewfinder enhancement of some sort. Do you use that for still photography and what advantage does that offer you? Thanks!

  • Rick said:

    Thanks Nate. The viewfinder attachment helps me achieve critical focus.

  • Nate said:

    Thanks for getting back to me! Have you seen the veravon multifinder? It allows you to turn the viewfinder magnifier into a right angle viewer.

  • Rick said:

    Thanks Nate. I use something similar, sometimes with a right angle viewing attachment.

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