Cave spiders

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Together with Douwe Schut I sometimes descend into underground limestone quarries to take pictures of subterranean landscapes. That is very exciting to do; working in complete darkness and then try to illuminate an entire underground landscape. This time we had a different plan, because we were looking for cave spiders, to be exact the Cave orbweaver (Meta menardi). This is a very rare species known only from a few places in our region. The spiders live underground, but always with a connection to the outside. They need those for food that falls in and for the spreading of the young spiders. Douwe had seen them before, but I didn’t. We knew roughly where to look and found them fairly quickly. The females are quite large with a body of over 1.5 cm. We did a few different approaches. Starting with ‘regular’ registrations, after which we tried to photograph the animals in their habitat, the quarry, with a wide-angle lens. Finally, we worked with backlight only, which gives a beautiful mysterious atmosphere. Thanks Douwe!