Sunday, September 1, 2019

Spider Web reflects UV to attract prey II

I was reading some time ago a paper that spider webs would actually reflect ultraviolet (UV) light, so as to attract prey (insects like bees etc) and I shot this quite a while ago. Now it just happened again that I found a web in one corner of my balcony, so why not take some reflected UV and visible light shots and test it out? Lens used was my UV-Nikkor 105mm, for reflected ultraviolet light I used my "work horse" UV filter, the Baader-U filter. Light source was available light and some 365nm UV LED light.

[click on image yields a larger one]

Spider web in visible light (hardly visible at all) with some prey:

and now the proof that the web actually reflects UV light strongly:

Here two diptychs showing this side-a-side (visible light is left, reflected UV on the right):

Detail of the above:

Quite an interesrting find and another proof, how useful reflected UV photography can be!

I have reviously written about that HERE

Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...

More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site