His production team were in the process of trying to record the mating dance of steatoda bipunctata spiders, also known as false widow spiders.
They had already filmed the male spider rubbing his lower body against his upper body in order to attract the attention of the female, but had severe problems trying to record ‘macro’-sound with their equipment. The sound energy was simply too low for a TV production microphone.
The team explored the phenomenon in an anechoic chamber, which for this purpose, was equipped with high-sensitivity microphone Type 4955 and our new PULSE LAN-XI Type 3161 with a direct monitoring output connected to an active speaker in the control room.
Three female and four male spiders took part, but none of the males seemed to be in the mood for romance. After an expectant few hours our patience ran out. We gave the spiders a fly in the hope that we could at least get some sound recording done. Seconds later, the footsteps of the seven spiders could be heard alongside the intense sound of a fly in its death throes. The battle lasted a few minutes and then all was silent again. The spiders’ appetite for food was obviously greater than that for love. Time for an afternoon snack …