Even if you aren't interested in the biology of spiders, please check out the images in this blog posting. These small and often loathed creatures have some of the most remarkable anatomy you will find on the planet, and they are in the most mundane places - like around the porch light in my backyard.
In my previous blog (August 20, 2012) I showed images of a small Theridiid - a cobweb spider. The images in this posting were made with the scanning electron microscope here at Eastfield College.
A shot of the dorsal surface of the cephalothorax or prosoma. Even at 70x you can immediately see that this spider does indeed have 8 eyes, not just the 6 I thought I saw with the light dissecting scope.
Several hairs on the prosoma and one obvious sensory pit.
Small sensory pit on dorsal surface of prosoma. Distance between marks on scale = 1 micron.
Spiders do not have compound eyes like insects. This image is of the PME or median eye on the posterior eye row.
Image of the peak of the opisthosoma or abdomen.
To make this image I rotated the spider so he was facing me - the bright structure at the bottom of the image is the prosoma. Basically I was shooting electrons right over his head and onto the abdomen.
This is a side shot of the spider focusing in on the connection, or pedicel, between the two body parts. In this image the spider is facing to the left. Prosoma to the left, opisthosoma to the right.
|Prosoma or cephalothorax|
The dyad of eyes (pairing) is very obvious in the micrograph. The dyad is composed of the ALE and the PLE - the lateral eye of the anterior eye row and the lateral eye of the posterior eye row.
The dyad is composed of the ALE and the PLE - the lateral eye of the anterior eye row and the lateral eye of the posterior eye row.
|Ventral Abdomen - Epigastric Furrow|
|Anus and Posterior Spinnerets|
Posterior lateral and median spinnerets at top of image.
|Close up of Median Posterior Spinnerets|
I wanted to image the spider head on so I draped its front pair of legs over the mount.
|Theridiid Head Shot|
Image of the two row of eyes on this spider - the anterior eye row (AER) and the posterior eye row (PER).
|Close up of Posterior Median Eyes (PME)|
Note the sensory pits above the eyes.
Now for some basic spider leg anatomy!
This study focuses on the second leg (simply because it was in the proper position).
|Coxa and Trochanter|
The coxa is indicated by the red arrow and the trochanter by the blue arrow.
|Close up of hairs on tibia|
Distance between marks on scale = 40 microns. This guy is little!
|Egg Sac Silk|