Oz’s Glass Spider

Last week my old video on moving spider eyes went fungal (that’s a bit slower than viral), following its linking from Gwen Pearson’s Wired column, then io9, then reddit. In honour of its recent fame, I repost the story that introduced the video, from my now-lost blog at the Beaty Museum.

In L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz, there lived a glass cat who was rather proud of itself. Being glass, it was transparent. It would say “I have the handsomest brains in the world. They’re pink, and you can see ’em work.”

In Canandé we found the most remarkably transparent jumping spider I’ve ever seen. It’s an amycine, but I don’t know exactly which one. Here is a close-up of the male’s body. At the back of the carapace, you can see the muscle bands for each of the legs, separated by yellow, which may be the blood pooling.
yellowAmycine copy
You can also see the eyes quite clearly. The black patches on the head are the smaller side eyes, but the main eyes extend like cones backward from the face. In the living spider you can see these cones move as the spider is looking in one direction or the other.

Quite remarkable. “I have black eyes, and you can see ’em work.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s