chrisbrooks's picture

Common Stretch Spider with prey

Observed: 2nd June 2011 By: chrisbrooks
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Common Stretch Spider
Species interactions

No interactions present.


Alan Thornhill's picture


Of the ones on this page yours most resembles some of the T. montana. Also, because it was found near water that doesn't rule out montana.

chrisbrooks's picture

Extensa / Montana

Hi Alan, thanks for your input it's appreciated. I know this is a close call as these spiders can be variable. The water aspect is not definitive as you say but it is a fairly good indicator.

I did look at many many other images before posting this item and I did find several T. extensa that looked almost identical to mine. I don't think I can add much more. Regards Chris

Alan Thornhill's picture


forgot to add link -

Chris, I'm not really arguing, but last year I did a spider survey on a wetland reserve and the few Tetragnathas I checked out were montana (I couldn't check them all - just too numerous).

chrisbrooks's picture


Thanks Alan, a useful link.

Martin Harvey's picture


My understanding is that it's worth checking the underside for Tetragnatha: if there is a pale midline marking on the sternum (underside of thorax) then you should be dealing with either T. extensa or the rarer T. pinicola, if the sternum is uniformly brown then it is one of the other species, including the common T. montana.

I agree that on general appearance this looks like T. extensa, but I don't think we can be 100% certain from the photo alone, and I'd agree with Alan that both of the common species can be found near water.

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jeremyr's picture

hi Chris, I've got one of

hi Chris, I've got one of these I'll post when I've reduced the file size. How on earth do you get that much depth of field on your photo? I assume the spider was moving, so I'm dying to know what lens and setting you used, cheers

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chrisbrooks's picture

Depth of field

Hi Jeremy

I generally use a Nikon D300 with a 105mm macro lens. All my images are taken hand held and to get the maximum depth of field I set the camera to around 1/250th (about the minimum in my experience for a sharp hand held shot). I do experiment however and in good light I will use shutter priority to blur the background, it depends on the subject width.

It depends on what you want from a macro shot, full subject focus or a detailed shot of some part of it. I always try for the latter and therefore a degree of cropping is required but not too much or you'll lose resolution.

To sum up for maximum depth of field shots never use "auto" or "program" settings. I have tried lots of options over the years and its an ongoing experiment.


Regards Chris

PS I should just add that this is what suits me and it is no way meant as the best or definitive guide, I'm sure other people use other techniques to good effect.

jeremyr's picture

many thanks, so the iso is

many thanks, so the iso is perhaps a bit higher than 100 or 200, to cope with small aperture and faster shutter speed. I'll try that, my lens is similar it's Canon 100mm macro but is 160mm on my camera (550D). Anyway as it's possible you noticed I'm a complete beginner, so I'll keep trying along those lines you've indicated.
I avoid auto and tend just to switch between TV and AV. Those must be 'program' settings, eg. allowing me to close down the aperture but dictating a slow shutter speed.
So I've not quite made it to the M (full manual) setting yet so a picture of a serotine bat against evening sky is some way off but that's eventually the way to go. Would you allow the iso to set itself then, or would you set that too to stop it going too high? I guess you would

I've checked the spider it's got all brown sternum but has body length (just abdomen) a good 10-11mm and markings look exactly like extensis, but must be montana, it seems
regards, Jeremy

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chrisbrooks's picture


Tv and Av are what I use with 400 ISO setting. When I said program mode I meant "P" mode which is an adjustable auto. Chris.