Jan 9, 2009

Jumping Spider Eyes

Jumping spiders comprise the famliy Salticidae, the largest and most diverse of spider families (ah, a melting pot), with between 4,000 and 5,000 species described. I love these little creatures. I find them all over my house. They aren't leggy enough to trigger my arachnophobia, their turret heads remind me of tanks (always an endearing image), and those eyes look alien and intelligent. And they eat bugs (and sometimes web-weaving spiders).

Salticids are small (most are less than one inch long), and they can jump 10 - 40 times their body length to pounce on prey or to avoid becoming prey. They accomplish this using good ol' fashioned hydraulics: they pump fluid into their legs quick enough to allow them to spring at lighting speed. Enjoy these photos. Click on some of them and you'll almost be able to see the reflection of the camera in their central eyes. My favorite is the last one. He looks like he's been naughty and is hiding from his parents. Who could chastise the little guy, with his liquid eyes and furry pedipalps?

Thanks for the photos, Tracy.

UPDATE: 'nonspecific' has discovered that Opo Terser is to thank for these photos. Thank you, Opo! Also, that second photo, it turns out, is photoshopped.

Photos via: PopGive.com










37 comments:

Ugly Deaf Muslim Punk Gurl! said...

they're supposed to be "scary," but somehow I find their eyes beautiful and strange.

Tiago said...

Oh yeah, jumping spiders rock!
The second spider is a living :) emoticon. What's its species? Looks the same as the one in the 5th picture.

And of course:
http://uglyoverload.blogspot.com/2007/11/puppy-eyed.html

Anonymous said...

The second one is so happy! I want to take him home. :)

Angelyca said...

I used to have severe arachnaphobia...now I just do not want spiders in my personal space. I will say (grudgingly) that these pictures are bordering on cute. *gasp*

Jenn said...

Beautiful photography!

Zanna said...

Pic #2 just became my Google avatar, hope no one minds, thanks! It is the happiest little spider I've ever seen. :D

dourocouli said...

Cuties!
Apparently "in jumping spiders the front four eyes are much larger than the rest and point forwards giving the animal stereo vision. Because of their good vision, a number of jumping spiders have courtship rituals involving the male waving brightly coloured palps to inform the female he wishes to mate.
I have only seen teeny tiny zebra spiders in the UK, sadly they are too small to see their happy little faces.

dourocouli said...

We may not have many but we do have the Distinguished Jumping Spider
http://www.buglife.org.uk/discoverbugs/bugofthemonth/distinguishedjumpingspider.htm
who appears to be wearing sunglasses.

I've found a new interest.

gecklund said...

The 1st one makes a great background.

Bone Artist said...

I never thought I'd say this about a spider, but the second one is just downright adorable. We need a beanie baby version of it.

Nervavels said...

OMG, I just had a cuteness overload from Ugly Overload!! That's pretty close up for small spiders. I love the pretty colors and their eyes. And echoing the other comments, Nos 2 and 5 are emoticons! Why is it that we can only see the two eyes on #2? Is that a rear view? #6 is now my background; blue 'palps.

LisaL said...

I also have a cute overload moment! When I saw the 2nd photo... I literally did the "OMG it's so cute!!" and started giggling like a little school girl.

Yvonne Navarro said...

I like the little old man mustached one.

Danielle said...

It actually sounds like you think they're...CUTE(?!?!?!)...

Wendy said...

really stellar photography! (personal fave #3, looks so iridescent)

Vanessa said...

They are stunningly gorgeous! My favourites.

Anonymous said...

I think nr 2 was photoshopped to look like a smiley, it is the same spider as nr 5.

Anonymous said...

Combined they look like the cast of a Disney movie. #2 is the lovable lead, and #1 is the bad guy. Brilliant images.

LisaL said...

Well of course it's photoshopped, specially since it is the same one as the 5th one.... doesn't change that it's still an adorable photo! lol

nonspecific said...

I think I might have tracked down the original photographer finally...
Opo Terser He/she's got a bunch of nice stuff.

Meghann said...

Has the second photo from the top been altered? The spider only has two eyes visible in the front, whereas the close-up of the same spider (photo #5) clearly has four eyes visible from the front.

LibrarianJessica said...

The end of the universe is upon us - we've once again had a picture show up on cuteoverload and uglyoverload: http://mfrost.typepad.com/cute_overload/2009/01/that-spiky-hair.html

nereid said...

i'm a biologist so i love CO and find most animals on this blog cute as well (hell i find fishes' faces cute, especially striped bass). but these spiders are friggin' adorable (i want to squeeze)!!

3rd daughter said...

these spiders are cool, scary but cool. i had a tiny one like this on my leg last week while having a picnic. my friend said it was a beetle. i was lying down so could not see it so told him to take a photo - he needs to go to bug identification classes.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/threed/3193287493/

Phoenix233 said...

Let's be fair, the second spider down should be on cute overload! That little grin is adorable :D

Angela said...

I am convinced that this is the diplomatic elite of the spider federation. They have evolved to create peace with humakind. Look here - this one has even acquired the human art of waving!
:D

Jack Ruttan said...

They're either wearing little hats, or have punk hairdos.

Anonymous said...

I find these amazing spiders to be little works of art, I am actually thinking of getting a tattoo of one. There are great colors, and I love the shots where you can see their fangs!

Anonymous said...

I must agree that the last little guy looks rather adorable and I could easily say its really cute. I have always loved spiders but jumpers are different because they look right at you. I want to get a good camera with close up capabilities so I can photograph like that.

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Katie said...

AND they're also vegetarian!
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/biology_evolution/article6869475.ece so bloody cute

Anonymous said...

I hate spiders! And I'm afraid of them! But that 2nd picture is the 1st time I've ever seen a cute spider! I'll have to admit lol! Still don't wanna touch it!

Anonymous said...

I have never seen anything like the second picture. I have to admit it's cute. Even though I'm not a spider fan.

Anonymous said...

spiders are awesome !!!!!!

Hannah said...

I have severe arachnaphobia when it comes to certain spiders like black widows and the giant ones, but these are so cute! I would love to see one in person, I would probably freak out at first but then be like awww hes so cute :D

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I find those faces cute. Actually, they terrify me - spiders don't look as though they should have faces...haha... :S

Erika Chavez said...

Is it sad that I hate spiders but I find their eyes really cute...i would be the one to be like aww cute eyes -leans closer, it attacks and bites my face off-