by Kristen Booth
TAKING up the hobby of macro photography five years ago allowed Emerald man Laurence Sanders to discover a whole new world.
The 61-year-old recently rediscovered the long-lost Australian spider Thomisidae Monaeses brevicaudatus here in Emerald.
Spider expert and author Robert Whyte confirmed the identification when MrSanders posted his discovery to an Arachnid Facebook group.
Mr Whyte said the spider could be characterised by its long, narrow body.
The Thomisidae Monaeses are medium-sized, slow- moving spiders that cling to stems of plants with outstretched legs.
Mr Whyte said they live on plants - mainly grass - where their long and straw-coloured bodies camouflage them exceedingly well.
"Well done Laurence Sanders, another mystery solved,” Mr Whyte said.
Mr Sanders took up macro photography as a hobby five years ago, with a passion for photographing small objects.
"I do a lot of native bee photography, which has been published in books,” he said.
"I photograph any insects, reptiles, and anything to do with nature. I do it every afternoon. I just go for a walk around the area.
"It opens up a whole new world and you find things that people never see or notice.”
Mr Sanders' work has been published multiple times in The Bower Bird Bugle, a weekly newsletter by the Bower Bird organisation.
The Bugle shows the variety of animals, plants and fungi that people find across Australia.
Alongside the rediscovery of the Thomisidae Monaeses, Mr Sanders has made many interesting discoveries in town.
In January last year, he photographed an extraordinary interaction between a wolf spider and a leafcutter bee.
What Laurence photographed broke the "natural rules” of predator versus prey relationships.
The image circulated and no one had ever seen or even heard of such an interaction, let alone have a series of wonderful images that document what happened.
As well, on August 28 last year, MrSanders discovered a never-before-seen spider in Emerald, which is still under investigation and yet to be named.
The Bower Bird Bugle founder Ken Walker said Laurence was just a good citizen scientist.