Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jumping Spider (Sitticus fasciger)

click for large

I was out looking for a few spiders to photograph today, and boy was it slim pickings! I found several of this species, Sitticus fasciger, but they were all females which I already have studio pictures of. Finally I found this guy, a nice sized male.

Males of the species have smaller, more slender abdomens, and larger dark palps, as you can see here. Here's a picture of a female. For an informative paper on behavior and identification of this species, look here.

Sitticus fasciger is originally from Asia, specifically the Russia/China area. They are almost always found in conjunction with man. Their favorite habitats are man made structures like stone walls, houses, building walls and such, which is exactly where I found this guy. They were apparently introduced into the US in the 50's.

Raynox DCR-150 and Raynox DCR-250, stacked, and mounted on my Panasonic Lumix FZ8.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Jumping Spider (Tutelina elegans)

click for large

Tutelina is a small genus of very interesting American salticids that deserve much more study. These spiders, which themselves seem to be generalized ant mimics, readily attack and feed upon small ants. It is generally unusual for ant mimics to attack ants, as more often the spiders are Batesian ant mimics. The fewer ants they eat, the more there are to hide amongst.

This is a female. The males have a very interesting double mohawk style hairdo that is quite something to behold. The females are a pretty emerald green, and I really like her flashy yellow striped legs.

Raynox DCR-150 and Raynox DCR-250, stacked and mounted on my Panasonic Lumix FZ8.