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Spider catches crane fly

September 21, 2010

Being interested in catching insects and flowers in front of the macro lens since I started dabbling in recreational photography, find that at times am more keenly observing them compared to before.

Had spotted a spider making its web near the window, quite an intricate process which was fascinating to see.

Spider attacks a mosquito hawk stuck in its web

Hoping to catch that spider in front of the camera one morning, saw a crane fly getting caught in the web, and was able to snap several shots of the spider making quick work of its helplessly entangled prey.

Crane fly trapped in spider web

The above photo shows the crane fly stuck on the web before the spider struck.

If you like to see all the details the thumbnail cannot reproduce, just click on the image which will take you to the photo on Flickr where you can view the full size canvas.

Spider wraps crane fly in spider silk

It was incredible to see how fast the spider wrapped the crane fly up in spider silk, felt like the whole process took no more than twenty seconds or so.

The speed at which the spider descended from its hiding place to the middle of the web was even more staggering.

Spider enveloping crane fly in spider silk

Lighting was sufficient as the late morning sun stood at a good angle, making the web clearly visible.

Even with decent lighting, opted not to stop down to f/11 as the slower shutter speed would have caused too much motion blur for the spider. Even at 1/100 shutter speed, the spider often moved too fast for the camera to follow.

Captured crane fly

Although not to the same degree as a safari or other wild animal documentary, the National Geographic feeling isn’t that far away!

You can always see more of my photos on Flickr or jump directly to the insects photo set.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2010 9:08 pm

    Really nice! I once saw a grasshopper that had been captured by a relatively small daddy longlengs, I wonder how the spider managed to catch it!

  2. September 21, 2010 11:26 pm

    Very cool. I love these kind of pictures, and I aspire to take them myself, but for now I don’t have a special macro lens so they aren’t as good as I’d like them to be. I should hunt around outdoors for a good web and see if I can catch anything interesting, there are significantly more around this time of year. Great shots and looking forward to more like this ^^

  3. September 22, 2010 1:43 am

    Nice! I’ve found that using a speedlight and a diffuser can help catch things “in the moment” close up. I really need to post about that at some point…

  4. September 22, 2010 7:44 pm

    @Sergio
    Even when smaller than their prey, spiders can take down quite big insects, impressive aren’t they? ^^
    @Persocom
    Some point & shoot cameras have really great macro modes/settings that can get you quite good results.
    Even with a macro lens, it’s a challenging task to get great images.
    @Asian Ed
    Indeed, a flash can help there, I’ve looked at Canon’s flash ring set and twin flash set especially suited for macro photography with the 100mm lens but those flash sets cost more than the lens itself! 0_0

  5. September 29, 2010 2:25 am

    I got a pretty satisfying feeling after looking at this series of photos. Props to the lovely spider!

  6. September 29, 2010 8:07 pm

    @Yi
    Glad you like the photos. Spiders scare the living daylights out of me though. ^^;;

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