Treacherous Perch Photograph by Darlyne A. Murawski
This small spider chose the wrong spot to rest. It stands on a well-disguised caterpillar of the moth Eupithecia scoriodes. These ambush predators blend imperceptibly into their surroundings. Small hairs and nerves on their backs indicate the presence of prey. In a fraction of a second the caterpillar can snap backward and grab its meal with pincer-tipped forelegs. Shown here on a lichen-flecked branch atop Haleakala Crater on the Hawaiian island of Maui, E. scoriodes derives its name from the word "scoria," a type of lava. Other Eupithecia in Hawaii may resemble bits of moss, twigs, or leaves. Of all the world's hundreds of species of Eupithecia, only in Hawaii have they evolved into carnivores, likely to fill a partially vacant predatory niche.
Camera: Olympus OM4 Ti Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 100 slide film Lens: 38mm macro with extension tube Speed and F-Stop: 1/60 @ f/22
Weather Conditions: Hot Time of Day: Morning Lighting Techniques: 2 or 3 flashes.