A is for Ambush and Aranha.

We have a new Alphabet Challenge from Nightjar: For every photo there will be two words, one in English and one in Portuguese, meaning the same or different things (with a few exceptions for genus names and K, W and Y which are not part of the Portuguese alphabet).

Ambush. Aranha, Portuguese for spider.

Flower crab spiders belonging to the family Thomisidae do not build webs, they are instead ambush predators. Some can change colour to match the flower they are on to blend in, then they wait for insects to visit the flower and catch them. In this case, a fly visiting a Paris Daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens) was not so lucky.

Click for full size!

© Nightjar, all rights reserved.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    A great capture indeed.

    Using two words is a nice twist to the challenge.

    I like the word aranha, it’s somehow fitting for spiders.

  2. voyager says

    What an amazing photo! And interesting information, too. I’m going to enjoy this series, Nightjar.

  3. avalus says

    Great Photo!

    K, W and Y which are not part of the Portuguese alphabet.
    Also I learned something! I have been to Portugal quite a few times and I could speak/understand a bit portugese but I never realized this :D

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    In Finnish, while we have B, C, F, Q, W, X, Z and Å in the alphabet, they are used only for loan words and names.

  5. Nightjar says

    Caine, thank you! And thanks for providing the venue, hope you enjoy the photos. :)

    Ice Swimmer, thanks! I must confess midway through selecting the photos I was already regretting the decision of having two words, it is not so easy in practice! But I only had to “cheat” a few times with genus names. :)
    BTW, the nh in aranha is phonetically equivalent to the ñ in Spanish. The tilde is common in Portuguese words, but only appears in two vowels, ã and õ.

    Thank you, jazzlet, voyager and Charly!

    DonDueed, you are right, I didn’t notice that! :D

    Thank you, avalus!
    Everyone knows the letters K, W and Y and they are often used in loan words, but pretty much all loan words have an adapted orthography that should be used instead. For example, most people will write whisky, but the correct way to spell it is uísque.

  6. jazzlet says

    the correct way to spell it is uísque

    Which is nearer the original gaelic uisce (Irish) or uisge (Scottish). I wonder exactly when the word was imported and whether it was imported as the English derivation or the orignal Irish or Scottish gaelic?

  7. Nightjar says

    jazzlet, I don’t know, I’ve checked a few sites and all seem to suggest it was imported from the English derivation, but it’s possible that they are just making that assumption. Would be interesting to know.

  8. says

    I think it was the English derivation. The British aristocracy seemed to delight in slaughtering other languages half to death; and there’s no way the original Gaelic would have been welcome in the colony or the early days of independent America. The Irish weren’t exactly welcome or treated well in any way.

  9. rq says

    As a long-time spider-hunt chaser, I congratulate you: this is action photography at its best. You’ve caught colours, composition and choice of species so well -- that fly never had a chance.

  10. Nightjar says

    Thank you, rq! I love these tiny spiders but they can be such a challenge to photograph because they are so small and the camera doesn’t always focus them right. Maybe if I had a macro lens it would be easier, but I don’t, this was my superzoom in macro mode. I was surprised by how well it did.

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