Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bold Jumping Spider

I have been on a mini-vacation for a few days. I went to Ohio for a couple of great adventures. On Saturday, I visited Cave Lake, A YMCA camp in Pike County, near Latham, OH. We had lots of interesting plants which I will put up soon on my other blog. We also had this critter, a Bold Jumping Spider, Phidippus audax. Such a beautiful and curious little beast. My friend Tom Arbour has a video of me holding it on his awesome blog. Just look for the June 3rd post of "Janet and the Jumping Spider". Anyway, here are some shots of this amazing creature.

Bold Jumping Spider can be distinguished by its dull black spots on its abdomen. There are many different phases and colors of this spider and you can view another one that is more of a brown phase on Jim McCormac's blog. There is an gallery on a page on Bugguide that has the many different phases. Bold Jumping Spiders have iridescent green chelicerae, the covering of their fangs. In the picture above, they are showing up with a gold color.

Above the curious beast is checking out my watch. Jumping spiders supposedly can see color and may have been attracted to the brightly colored band.

Jumping spiders in general have fairly good sight, with eight eyes. Four are very prominently displayed in front with two more located on each side of the head. This gives it an ability to see whats going on in the surrounding area, yet focus intensely on what is in front of it. Jumping spiders do not spin a web, but instead are hunters that scurry along until they find suitable prey and then pounce upon them.

When they wish to jump from one area to another, they will use a safety line made of of spider silk that they spin from their spinnerets. Similar to a rock climber, the jumping spider will secure a line of strong silk then leap over to the other area. If it misses its mark, it will climb up its safety line and try again.

Check back tomorrow for my adventures with Kristin Stanford, Dr. Rich King, Kent Bekker and crew at the Nerodio. Kristin was featured with Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs. We had an amazing time catching Lake Erie Water Snakes on Kelleys Island.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is amazing, didnt know they were attracted to bright colors. Fascinating!