Special spiders in focus

Special spiders in focus

07 June 2023

In the news Public school life

Most people run a mile when they see a spider, but teenager Michael Lun spends hours seeking them out.

Belridge Secondary College student Michael Lun.

The Year 11 Belridge Secondary College student has a passion for capturing the beauty and uniqueness of peacock spiders and is making a name for himself in the world of nature photography. 

Michael’s dedication to his hobby means he spends hours trying to track down the tiny spiders.

“One of my absolute favourite things to photograph is peacock jumping spiders,” Michael said.

"Peacock spiders are about the size of a grain of rice and very hard to spot.

"Sometimes we spend hours on end trekking through the bush to find them.

"As a general rule of thumb, if you walk slowly and look for little hopping movements on the ground, that's the best way to spot them.

"A great way to train your eyes is to practice on ants. Ants are a very similar size to peacock spiders and move in a similar fashion."
Peacock spiders are seasonal animals, which means they’re only out in colour for a month or two each year. 

One of Michael Lun's photos of a peacock spider.

Michael’s passion for spiders goes hand in hand with his interest in science. 

“It has always been a dream of mine since I was young to have a species of animal that I discover and that I can name after myself,” he said. 

“It’s like my legacy, it’s something that can never be erased from this earth and will be here long past my time on this earth.

“I may be really close to discovering a new species of peacock spider and hopefully in the coming months this dream becomes a reality.”

Michael also loves photographing scorpions and butterflies, as well as landscapes.

Michael hopes to inspire others to see the world from a different perspective and gain a newfound appreciation of the wonders that exist in their own backyards.