Impurest's Guide to Animals #35 - Zebra Jumping Spider

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Edited By ImpurestCheese

As October marches on towards November on its eight stubby legs here comes Issue 35 of Impurest’s Guide to Animals. Last week the incredibly tiny Nosy Be Chameleon emerged from the leaf litter. This week we have an even smaller animal that is just as cute as the little lizard in the Spotlight. Hope you enjoy.

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Issue #35 Zebra Jumping Spider

[1]
[1]

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Arthropoda

Class – Arachnida

Order – Araneae

Family – Salticidae

Genus – Salticus

Species – senicus

Related Species - Zebra Jumping Spiders are one of around 5000 species spread across 500 genus in the family Salticidae (1)

Range - The Zebra Jumping Spider can be found on stone walls and scrub land across the United States and Europe including the United Kingdom

Leap into the Unknown

Zebra Jumping Spiders are very small spiders (with an average body length of five to nine mm) with the females growing larger then the males. The abdomen of the spider is lined with black and white stripes, with those of the males being broader than the females. The most prominent feature of the Zebra Jumping Spider is the large eyes at the front of the cephalothorax, and the surrounding secondary eyes arranged around the front of the animals body. Despite effectively having stereoscopic vision the Jumping Spider uses image defocus to gauge distance, by using different wavelengths of light to build up a 3D image.

This imaging system is put to good use when hunting, the Zebra Jumping Spider doesn’t build webs, relying instead on actively hunting for its prey. When a food item, usually a small fly or mosquito, the spider will gauge the distance it has to cover and spin a silk safety line. From there the spider will launch itself, by altering the pressure of its body fluids (2), towards the prey item. If successful the spider will inject a mild venom and consume the prey in situ even if the target is twice the size of the predator.

[2]
[2]

Like all spiders the Zebra Jumping Spider is a cannibal and the male has to be cautious when he approaches the female. In order to signal his attentions the male will wave his front legs up and down and vibrate his abdomen when he meets a female. If she accepts the two will mate before the female leaves to lay her eggs in a silken sack. When the young hatch the female will protect the spiderlings until their second moult, where the young spiders will leave to fend for themselves.

Five Fun Zebra Jumping Spider Facts

Because their vision requires large amounts of light Jumping Spiders are mostly diurnal, often weaving purse shaped tents on the undersides of leaves to sleep in.

Red Light causes problems for Jumping Spiders, whose vision is geared towards the UV end of the spectrum, effectively blinding them.

The Himalayan Jumping Spider (Euophrys omnisuperstes) holds the title of the highest permanent animal resident on Earth, having been recorded at heights of 6700 meters above sea level (3)

[3]
[3]

Another Jumping Spider Bagheera kiplingi is the only spider species to feed predominantly on plant matter although most other species in the genus Salticidae will drink plant nectar (4)

Zebra Jumping Spiders use silk lines while traversing a vertical surface, effectively abseiling down jump after jump

Bibliography

1 - www.arkive.org

2 - Foelix, Rainer F. (1996). Biology of Spiders. Oxford University Press

3 - Wanless, F. R. (1975). "Spiders of the family Salticidae from the upper slopes of Everest and Makalu". Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society3 (5): 132–136.

4 - Meehan, Christopher J.; Olson, Eric J.; Reudink, Matthew W.; Kyser, T. Kurt; Curry, Robert L. (2009): "Herbivory in a spider through exploitation of an ant-plant mutualism." Current Biology1

Picture References

1 - http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000bjODVfaEhvI/s/900/900/022-045.jpg

2 - http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/images/content/zebra_spider_killing_fly_picture.jpg

3 - http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/naturelibrary/images/ic/credit/640x395/e/eu/euophrys_omnisuperstes/euophrys_omnisuperstes_1.jpg

And with that the Zebra Jumping Spider leaps away from the spotlight to get one last meal before sundown. Due to me be excessively busy last weeks issue came forward to this week, and the next, featuring the ‘Little Cow’ of the Sea of Cortez will be posted in a fortnights time. Until then comment, critic and request odd and amazing creatures or just check out past issues in the Bestiary of Past Issues.

Many Thanks

Impurest Cheese

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#1  Edited By Ostyo

Grandma what big eyes you have!

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#2  Edited By xNahtebx

Awww! I love him! 8D

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@ostyo: Yep that's its biggest and best feature

@xnahtebx: It's Cute Right? Thank you for the comment. I ask this to everyone who comments, do you want to be added to the regular callout list?

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@impurestcheese: My main is already on the callout list ^_^

But yeah, I think they're adorable. Am a big fan of spiders though, one of my favourite creatures.

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@xnahtebx: Ooh mysterious, just like next weeks animal. Once again thnak you for the comment mysterious user

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deactivated-097092725

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Those eyes! My first thought was it being a stuffed animal toy. Figures a spider would be the animal who can survive in the highest of altitudes, ready to pounce down on someone. Another great article.

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What does the female signal to say she's down?

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In order to signal his attentions the male will wave his front legs up and down and vibrate his abdomen when he meets a female.

I do this same thing, coincidentally.

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@impurestcheese: Hehehe! Nah, it's Bumpy, I like to be upfront with these things ^_^

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@ms-lola: Yeah Spiders are great survivalists. That particular one is only 0.8cm long so it's not doing a lot of damage when it pounces on mountaineers...unlike it's massive yeti sized cousins

@cattlebattle: I thought as much LOL

@cgoodness: She waves back and doesn't try and eat him. Females will usually be picky and only choose the male that 'dances' the best

@xnahtebx: Oh man I knew I forgot someone when doing that monster of a callout

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#13  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@xnahtebx: Yep, furious we are. Well I'm usually angry it;s why my hair is so red.

BTW did you ever get to see the other spider issue for Impurest's Guide to Animals

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#16  Edited By ImpurestCheese
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!!!!!!! My second favorite species of spider!

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#19  Edited By Straight-Fire

D'awwwwwwwwwwwww! Soooo beautiful!! :3c

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@impurestcheese: Greenbottle Blue Tarantula. It's colorful, friendly demeanor, and just the perfect size. Not too big and not too small.

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@impurestcheese: I was expecting this spider to be very, very creepy. You surprised me. :-P

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@nighthunder: Ah Lycosa! Very cool

@ostyo: Ah okay, neotropical tarantulas tend to be more placid then the Asian cousins

@dboyrules2011: I did say it was cute last issue. Next issue is cute too but after that...

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Wolverine008

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Nice work as always Impurest :)

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Ostyo

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@impurestcheese: Didn't know that. I'll avoid handling Asian Tarantulas in the future.

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#29  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@wolverine08: Thanks for the comment

@ostyo: Yeah, over there they are called Bird Eating Tarantulas. Big Fangs + Bad Attitude = A very painful bite

@dboyrules2011: We will see

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Oh wow forgot to callout @squares: as well. I am so sorry.

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Samimista

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O____O It's beautiful!

I'm usually scared of spiders, but I just wanna pet this little guy! :D

Look at those eyes. He looks lonely! :(

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#33  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@samimista: Yeah they have that slightly sad look that puppies also manage to muster. Jumping Spiders as a group don't get bigger than 2cm so they are all as small as the ones shown, In addition their behaviour is atypical to the stereotypical spider which works in their favour when it comes to cuteness

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SO CUTE!!!

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@laflux: Seems to be to be a common observation about this little guy

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@impurestcheese: Thanks for the tag!

I had no idea all spiders were cannibals, that's fascinating.

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@squares: Thanks for the comment. And yes spiders are very intolerant of their own kind. If it moves it probably is food. That's why males have to seduce there 'Black Widows' before mating