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Jumping Spiders

Here come the Salticids to herald in the New Year and to give you all a jumpstart into 2010!

Not all spiders build a web and wait patiently to trap their meal! There are some that pounce on their prey and rely on their keen eyesight to catch their prey. These are the jumping spiders.

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The jumping spiders are wary of anything that happens in their vicinity. One can observe them respond even to slight movements close to them. The jumping spiders are able to do this due to the four pairs of simple but special eyes they possess. One pair is large, pointing forward, giving it a sharp sight. In fact, at a distance of about one foot, these spiders can distinguish between prey, predator, etc. Alongside is one other pair that is smaller and pointing forward. The other two pairs are placed further behind and are strategically located.

Jumping spiders are active hunters. Once a potential prey (mainly insects) has been identified, they advance slowly and stealthily towards it. When within jumping distance, they jump on the prey and grab it. Before they jump, they secure a strand of silk as a lifeline to the substrate. This way they can crawl up to safety if the jump is a failure!

There are more than 4000 species of jumping spiders in the world with over 180 of them recorded from India. Most of the jumping spiders are small – most measuring under a centimetre. Perhaps, they are among the most colourful of spiders with some of having shining metallic colours.

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The arrangement of eyes, their shape, stout bodies, short legs, their behaviour and habits are very characteristic of these spiders. Being such a large and diverse group, it is but natural to find variations in the base plan. For eg. the ant-mimic spider which resemble ants and others which have markings that mimic wasps.

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The jumping spiders are solitary like most other spiders. They are fond of sunshine and are active during the day. At nights and on cloudy days, they return to the safety of a silken nest made in crevices, under stones and other such suitable places. They can be seen on trees, amid grass, rocks, and even on walls of our homes. In the environs of our homes they can be seen feeding on flies and other insects!

See more pictures of Jumping Spiders

  • http://photography.usandeep.com/ sandeep

    yet another informative piece, backed with beautiful pictures. thanks for sharing.

  • http://backpakker.blogspot.com lakshmi

    very colourful spiders and thanks for my first installment of information in 2010 ..ive learnt one new thing today

  • http://birdsonthebrainetc.wordpress.com/ Uma

    On our trip to Kabini, Basil of JLR took us on a spider-walk. It was most rewarding, and I learnt a lot. Thanks, Karthik, for adding to it! The pic of the colourful spider is lovely!

  • http://http:/deponti.livejournal.com/tag/wildlife Deepa

    Ah, now I realize what the metallically-coloured spider that I photographed in Thattekad was! Thanks Karthik, for all the info.

    Certainly, you are removing the “Little Miss Muffet” fear from most of your readers by showing how interesting these creatures are!

  • http://www.whyeyephotography.com Stuart Forster

    Fine photography and a fascinating insight into the behaviour of creatures that many people all too frequently overlook.

  • Vijji

    Simple and informative article, and great pics K! you make spiders look real adorable! (And given how scared i used to be of spiders as a kid – thank god i didn’t know about the jumping variety back then!)

  • http://www.transientlives.blogspot.com/ bindu

    The red spider with purple legs is amazing! Very informative post.

  • Bhanu

    Hi
    Wonderful pics of spiders…enjoyed reading the text.
    You have captured the lesser known creatures of
    nature beautifully…thanks…real visual treat esp the
    orange head with green line spider is awesome!!!
    Bhanu

  • http://wildcards.blogspot.com Ulhas Anand

    Jumper!, the “code-word” that almost became synonymous with our recent trip. Thanks for showing us so many of them!
    Ulhas

  • Nahar

    Amazing details and the photos fit really well with the narratives !! Thanks again karthikji for opening our eyes ‘wider’ …

  • http://zunkabhakri.blogspot.com Vijay

    Very informative; your eaglenest post is interesting too; was in AR last month with family(http://zunkabhakri.blogspot.com/2009/12/northeast-holidays.html), like you have described correctly very scenic n beautiful place, missed eaglenest this time, both eaglenest n namdapha are on radar for future trips lets see.

    regds-
    vijay

  • http://www.FleetingMoments.net Anilkumar GT

    Very informative Karthik… thanks for sharing all the info…..if you can add a few more of the snaps of these jumping jacks….that you showed us, i think that will be very useful as well.

  • http://indicaspecies.blogspot.com Celine

    Wonderful post, thanks for sharing.

  • nalini g

    please inform me about the trips myself and my husband wants to attend
    from
    naliravi

  • http://beetlesinthebush.wordpress.com Ted C. MacRae

    I really like the colors of the second photo.

    I made my first attempt at jumping spider photographs recently – have a look.

  • http://naturerambles.blogspot.com Nanda

    Wow, very nice information. The mettalic colored spider is great. Hope to identify a jumping spider sometime…
    thanks,
    nanda

  • asma

    i saw a black spider with a red spot on its head, surrounded by a white ring and , unfortunately it had seven legs. do you know about it ? you have a very informative blog.

  • Sheila Castelino

    Awesome pictures Karthik. Very informative and easy to read account of Portia spider.

  • http://wanttobeanomad.wordpress.com Poornima Kannan

    Is the orange and green jumping spider a peacock jumping
    spider? Any specific location where this was found/

    Very well written post
    Thanks

  • karthik

    Hello Poornima !
    I don’ think the orange and green jumping spider featured here is a peacock jumping spider. This one was shot at Bannerghatta Nature Camp.
    Best wishes
    Karthik

  • http://wanttobeanomad.wordpress.com Poornima Kannan

    Thanks Karthik.