Zebra jumping spiders munching on mosquitoes (pics)

ecooper

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
298
I’ve been taking photos of zebra jumping spiders (Salticus scenicus) that have been hunting mosquitoes on the screen door to my kitchen. These spiders are really endearing in their movements and “attitude”...it’s too bad they are so tiny. Imagine how much fun they would be if they were the size of a tarantula! :)

Males of the species are apparently darker in colour, so I believe that the first photo below is of a male, and the second is a female. If anyone can confirm that, please let me know. There are more photos of each specimen on my blog.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera; Zuiko 35mm macro lens; manual exposure (F8-F11 @ 1/200 sec); Olympus RF-11 ring flash (1/8-1/4 power); ISO: 200

Cheers,
EC
www.macrocritters.wordpress.com

P7040536 2 jumping spider on screen ernie cooper 2013 by ernie.cooper, on Flickr
P7110479 jumping spider screen 2 ernie cooper 2013 by ernie.cooper, on Flickr
 

Ciphor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
1,640
Hey ecooper!

The ID is accurate on image #2, it is indeed a female zebra jumper with some really nice brown tone. Image #1 however is definitely not. Male zebra jumpers have heavily modified chelicerae and zebra jumper pedipalps do not have that long setae (hair). Here is a male zebra jumper http://bugguide.net/node/view/740559/bgimage

Spider #1 (assuming these images are in BC) should be a Platycryptus sp. I tentatively would say the species is Platycryptus californicus, however I have been reading reports of people finding Platycryptus arizonensis all the way to the west coast now, and this species is known for having a very brown color with speckles like yours, while P. californicus is known for being very black/grey/white toned with very little speckles. However, I am not confident image#1 is mature, and without knowing exactly what both spiders look like in all their juvenile forms... well, that is why I would tentatively say P. californicus
 

ecooper

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
298
Hey ecooper!

The ID is accurate on image #2, it is indeed a female zebra jumper with some really nice brown tone. Image #1 however is definitely not. Male zebra jumpers have heavily modified chelicerae and zebra jumper pedipalps do not have that long setae (hair). Here is a male zebra jumper http://bugguide.net/node/view/740559/bgimage

Spider #1 (assuming these images are in BC) should be a Platycryptus sp. I tentatively would say the species is Platycryptus californicus, however I have been reading reports of people finding Platycryptus arizonensis all the way to the west coast now, and this species is known for having a very brown color with speckles like yours, while P. californicus is known for being very black/grey/white toned with very little speckles. However, I am not confident image#1 is mature, and without knowing exactly what both spiders look like in all their juvenile forms... well, that is why I would tentatively say P. californicus
Wow! Thanks for the great information! It has been difficult to find good information on the identification of jumping spiders in BC. I was pretty confident of the identification of specimen 2, but unsure whether specimen 1 was a male zebra or another species. I erred on the side of caution and figured if I posted the photos someone would confirm or correct me. I just didn't expect it to be so fast! LOL!

I'm going to post some more jumping spiders photos tomorrow. Right now I'd better go edit my blog posts!!!

Thanks again for the help!

Cheers,
EC
 

ecooper

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
298
Mea culpa

There is a quote circulating on Facebook that basically says that you are doing science wrong if you don’t make mistakes; that you are doing science really wrong if you don’t correct those mistakes; and that you aren’t doing it at all if you don’t accept that you’re mistaken.

Not only did I mis-identify one of the spiders, it also turns out that what I thought were mosquitoes were actually non-biting midges (chironomids). Sigh. I have re-edited my blog and corrected these mistakes.

I must be doing GREAT science!

It’s interesting that two very similar species, one introduced and one native, were feeding on the same prey within inches of one another. I wonder whether the two species avoid each other (given their great vision) or if one ever preys on the other?

Cheers,
EC
www.macrocritters.wordpress.com
 

Ciphor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
1,640
Mea culpa

There is a quote circulating on Facebook that basically says that you are doing science wrong if you don’t make mistakes; that you are doing science really wrong if you don’t correct those mistakes; and that you aren’t doing it at all if you don’t accept that you’re mistaken.

Not only did I mis-identify one of the spiders, it also turns out that what I thought were mosquitoes were actually non-biting midges (chironomids). Sigh. I have re-edited my blog and corrected these mistakes.

I must be doing GREAT science!

It’s interesting that two very similar species, one introduced and one native, were feeding on the same prey within inches of one another. I wonder whether the two species avoid each other (given their great vision) or if one ever preys on the other?

Cheers,
EC
www.macrocritters.wordpress.com
For spiders its all about risk, reward, and opportunity. The risk of going after that spider is great, why take that risk when there is a juicy fly right there? Now, if food was not abundant and they saw each other, you better believe one would be prey.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,220
A good scientist is one that stumbles onto a workable hypothesis and makes it appear that was his/her intent all along. Nice pics! Don't forget to keep an eye on your kids and whenever possible, break up their 'boxing matches' before they turn lethal. BTW, those contests can be hilarious and worthy of pictures or even videos.
 

McGuiverstein

Arachnobaron
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
348
Imagine how much fun they would be if they were the size of a tarantula! :)
Really damn funny you should say that, because believe it or not, I had a dream about a huge jumping spider last night.. Walked into some weird pet shop on a boardwalk (not sure why I was at the beach) and lo and behold there was a lemon yellow with black spots jumping spider the size of an Avic sitting there for $49.99. Watching it in action wasn't as cool as my super excited dream-self initially thought it would be. At that size they're rather clumsy and oafish when they jump. Sorry to burst your bubble ;).
 

ecooper

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
298
Really damn funny you should say that, because believe it or not, I had a dream about a huge jumping spider last night.. Walked into some weird pet shop on a boardwalk (not sure why I was at the beach) and lo and behold there was a lemon yellow with black spots jumping spider the size of an Avic sitting there for $49.99. Watching it in action wasn't as cool as my super excited dream-self initially thought it would be. At that size they're rather clumsy and oafish when they jump. Sorry to burst your bubble ;).
LOL!!! Great dream...I wish it those spiders really existed...especially for $49.99!
 

Akai

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
326
This makes me want to collect some jumping spiders now. lol
 
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