Category Archives: Biology

Jumping spider on decaying log

I think this is Phidippus princeps, but it’s a highly variable species and I didn’t feel like hacking it apart to examine genitalia. Plus I don’t know how to key out spider genitalia at all, so it would have been a senseless thing to do. But it was definitely capable of jumping: leaped onto my lens twice, which is always a bit unnerving. They are harmless, but when you are habituated to seeing them through a macro lens, the subconscious brain tags them as massive predators. I survived. This was one of three spiders I photographed within a small area in Swarthmore, PA, a few days ago.

Colin Purrington Photography: Spiders and ticks &emdash; Phidippus princeps

Colin Purrington Photography: Spiders and ticks &emdash; Phidippus princeps

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Daring jumping spider (Phidippus audax)

I’m pretty sure this is a daring (or bold) jumping spider, Phidippus audax. He was very, very large, though you can’t tell it from the photograph. Found at same location as the spider I posted earlier. It was a good spider day (and there’s even one more).  Swarthmore, PA.

Colin Purrington Photography: Spiders and ticks &emdash; Daring jumping spider (Phidippus audax)

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Copulating stilt-legged flies

Copulating pair of Taeniaptera trivittata, a type of still-legged fly (Micropezidae). Males (or females, according to one source) apparently brush the eyes of the partner during mating, though this frame didn’t capture that. When flitting around leaves they wave their white-tipped forelegs and look just like small ichneumon wasps. They have thin waists but the pattern on their wings makes them look even thinner, waspier. Known to feed on rotting Typha, which was abundant nearby (John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Tinicum, PA).

If you come across a pair, please take a video so I can see the legs in action. I like to watch, and I know of others who are interested in this species.

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Copulating stilt-legged flies (Taeniaptera trivittata)

Huge thanks to John S. Ascher and John F. Carr on Bugguide.net for help identifying them.

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Engorged mosquitoes

Some photographs of me donating blood. The first is, I think, an Asian rock pool mosquito (Ochlerotatus japonicus japonicus; formerly known as Aedes japonicus japonicus). The second is an Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). Introduced to New Jersey in 1998 and Texas in 1985, respectively. Both photographs were taken in Pennsylvania. 

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Asian rock pool mosquito (Ochlerotatus japonicus) with blood meal

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) drinking blood

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