2018 AMI Online Salon

Mesmerizing Camouflage of the Mirror Spider

Project Details

  • Artist(s):  Sarah Quattrocki
  • Contributors: Sarah Quattrocki  ; Chicago, Illinois
  • Client: Leah Lebowicz
  • Copyright: © 2018 Sarah Quattrocki
  • Medium / software used: Autodesk 3dsMax, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign
  • Final presentation format: Printed poster
  • Primary audience: Educated lay audience

Project Description

This poster is meant to introduce viewers to the species Thwaitesia (more commonly known as the “mirror” or “disco” spider) and its distinctly beautiful pattern of mirrored abdominal plating. A combination of 2D and 3D techniques were used to achieve the appropriate level of realistic rendering while also prioritizing clarity of the information being conveyed. Due to the spider’s preference for lush tropical environments, natural hues suggestive of a rainforest were chosen. In order to strengthen the connection to these habitats, as well as provide context for size, dew drops were added to the composition. Although the evolutionary advantages of the plates are not well understood, the scientific community theorizes that they serve as a form of camouflage, helping the spiders to appear as if they themselves were a drop of water on a leaf. Graphic elements explain the potential for changes in plate size and density and help to clarify the biomechanics of this stunning defense mechanism.