These spectacular 'mirror spiders' have shapeshifting silver abdomens

Nicky Bay
© Nicky Bay

Nature is always more mind-blowing than we imagine. It's full of surprises like murmurations of birds, intelligent slime molds, and 'morning glory wave' clouds. Another case in point is this stunning spider that appears to have a shimmering body full of shapeshifting, shiny scales that almost seem metallic.

Nicky Bay© Nicky Bay
Nicky Bay© Nicky Bay

Singapore-based photographer Nicky Bay has been observing and snapping images of these spectacular arachnids for the last few years. He explains on his blog:

For several years, I have been observing the odd behavior of the Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) where the "silver-plates" on the abdomen seem to shrink when the spider is agitated (or perhaps threatened), revealing the actual abdomen. At rest, the silver plates expand and the spaces between the plates close up to become an almost uniform reflective surface. That is why I called it the Mirror Spider.

Nicky Bay© Nicky Bay

The reflective quality of the plates change as well; sometimes they can appear silvery, at other times a golden colour, or even like stained glass.

Nicky Bay© Nicky Bay
Nicky Bay© Nicky Bay
Nicky Bay© Nicky Bay

Nicky notes that other spider species like Mesida, Leucauge, and some of Argyrodes exhibit the same silvery abdomen, in other tropical locales around the world. These are truly some of the most beautiful arachnids we've ever seen, and you can see more images of them over at Macro Photography in Singapore.

Tags: Insects | Photography | Singapore

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