Nicky Bay is a Singapore-based macro photography instructor, who documents the microfauna of jungles and parks in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
He tells BBC Earth, “Macro photography is a window to an entirely different world of 'aliens' that exists right under our noses, providing endless discoveries and surprises.”
In this stunning gallery, Nicky shows the amazing lengths that some spiders will go to resemble another object, or to simply disappear from sight.
Mimicry is when an animal or plant resembles another creature or inanimate object, either for defence or to gain other advantages. The mimicking species may smell, sound or behave like the creature or object it is duplicating – not simply look like it.
Camouflage is the art of not being seen and it is practised by predators, prey and plants. Colour might help an organism blend in with its surrounding environment, even when the organism itself cannot see in colour.
Lichen wandering spider (Ctenidae)
“The stunningly beautiful green spider hides among the lichen for camouflage,” comments Nicky.
Mud mimic ground spider (Zodariidae)
“This cryptic and slow-moving spider hides among muddy logs, blending itself perfectly.”
Wrap-around spider (Araneidae)
“An orb weaver spider that perches on its web at night, but wraps itself around a branch in the day to conceal its outline.”
Segmented trapdoor spider (Liphistiidae)
“A sinister spider that builds a burrow covered by a trapdoor and remains hidden to the untrained eye.
"It constructs tripwires radiating from the burrow and stands at the burrow's entrance at night to sense for movement of unsuspecting prey.
"Once detected, it lunges out of the burrow but keeps its rear legs in the burrow so that it can return quickly to hiding.”
Ant mimic jumping spider (Salticidae)
“This particular spider is one of the best mimics of the ferocious red weaver ants. Being a mimic in this case allows it to infiltrate ant colonies for protection.
"The two front legs are often off the ground to imitate the ants' antennae.”
Ladybird mimic spider (Araneidae)
“Ladybirds secrete chemicals to make them taste bitter and extremely unpalatable, and are much less desirable for dinner. This spider mimics a ladybird for that reason!”
Bird dung spider (Araneidae)
“Looking just like a pile of bird dung, this spider completes the camouflage by emitting a poop-like scent to attract bugs.”
Bird dung crab spider (Thomisidae)
“Bird dung is a popular thing to mimic, as they tend to attract more unsuspecting prey.”
Bird-dropping crab spider (Thomisidae)
“This crab spider lines silk around itself to make it look like bird dropping, and even keeps its captured prey within the silk to complete its camouflage.”
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