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Photo#137817
Tegenaria domestica - female

Tegenaria domestica - Female
Wrangell, Alaska, Alaska, USA
August 18, 2007
Size: 8mm
And here's the distinctive epigynum which looks just like the image in the article on identifying hobo spiders by Rick Vetter and Art Antonelli
http://pep.wsu.edu/pdf/PLS116_1.pdf

Images of this individual: tag all
Tegenaria domestica - female Tegenaria domestica - female Tegenaria domestica - female Tegenaria domestica - female

Moved
Moved from Spiders.

Nice...
This is a great series Susan! And thanks for referencing the Vetter/Antonelli document. I have little interest in this spider family, but I love Vetter's common-sense, and often quite blunt, writing style. I wouldn't have been surprised to find a phrase like "Here is another specimen that is not a Hobo. While it has many similar markings, you should also notice the appearance of six legs, wings, compound eyes, a pair of antennae, and that it is eating a plant."

C Day, are you struggling with live specimens? It's usually easiest to drop them in a sandwich bag and flatten it out so you can get most any angle you want. If glare is still an issue, as it often is with a bug-in-a-bag or alcohol, I have to kill the florescent ring-light and use carefully positioned fiber optic light. I look forward to Susan's answer. Getting good contrast in alcohol is something I haven't quite figured out yet.

Epigynum
This is fantastic. What sort of container is she in that you can get under a dissecting microscope? I've used small plastic boxes, but sometimes get glare and can't get the spider and the box oriented to get a view I want. --Your other images are amazing, too. Thanks.

 
photographic technique
With alot of spiders I can put them in a petridish and once they calm down and I have the camera set up with the eyepiece adapter on my dissecting scope, gently lift off the lid while taking the photo. Some spiders are too 'wild' and I don't dare lift the lid. Some spiders will build a little bit of web that they will cling to when I flip the petridish over to photo the other side. Unfortunately, funnel weavers are very uncooperative subjects. I tried the baggy trick to get the epiginum, but couldn't see past the hairs--couldn't hardly even tell it was a mature female. Once I dropped her into alcohol, the hairs didn't interfere with photography and for whatever reason, it made the epigynum as well as internal parts really stand out, and she wasn't in the alcohol long enough to bleach out. My scope has a small halogen(?) light that angles in from the back, so glare usually isn't a problem. I use just enough alcohol to completely cover the spider as too much interfers with photography and if any part sticks out, it does give a surface for reflected glare. I use a cut off yogurt cup for this purpose since it's wide enough to prevent shadows from the angled light, but not so big that it requires alot of alcohol. Of course using alcohol does require killing the spider, but I'm working on documenting the species of spiders in our area and this requires at least one voucher specimen of each species. Any 'extras' I document in a separate spreadsheet from the 'collection' spreadsheet then release the spider in appropriate habitat. Any unusual/different color variations I document with photographs since alcohol bleaches out the colors and is useless for this purpose anyway. These 'big brown' spiders are definitely an id challenge since very similar color patterns can belong to spiders that aren't even in the same family and there can be alot of variation within a species.

 
..
Hi Susan,

For some reason I've overlooked all your images here in BG.

Here in the "SpiMi" (Spiders of Central Europe) you'll also find diagnostic drawings of T. domestica (that look exactly like your specimen -- imagine that). :-)

And water will also work well under the microscope (I'm told).

-K

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