Oct 30, 2008

Makes My Day

Once again I'm going heavy on the spider posts. But this one might have some redemptive qualities to it. A short while ago we read about an orb weaver dining on a bird, and then about a spider that jumps on people and bites them. But how do you feel about a vegetarian spider? Quite a bit better, I imagine (unless you're a plant).

Photo source: GreenUpgrader.com

It turns out that a certain population of
Bagheera kiplingi (yes, named after the black panther in Kipling's Jungle Book), a species of Mexican jumping spider, dines on the Mexican Acacia tree almost exclusively. Scientists documented their eating habits and found that out of 140 meals, 136 of them were plant-based. What were the other four meals? Well, they snatched ant larvae from passing ants. Okay, that's not so charming.

But still. This is the only known group of spiders to have an almost completely vegetarian diet. I love jumping spiders since they don't trigger my arachnophobia. And finding one that eats tree bits, well, that just makes my day. Thanks, Peter.


Anonymous said...

Now, if this spider was human sized and it was snatching infants from passing mothers, would that be nearly as charming? <_< (Aware of sarcasm, but still). Remember to answer carefully with your wife and your new baby boy monitoring your blog!

This is a pretty spider. Good colors. The plant eating bit is a nice touch, but I am sure that they still feel very creepy crawly. (Just looking at the little hairs makes my skin itch)

Unknown said...

beautiful speciman, nice details, colorful and creative composition

Vanessa said...

They are my favourite spiders. Lovely!

Alison said...

I could almost call this one cute...but then my eye drifts back to all those legs.

Nope, sorry spidey, you stay outside, too.

Sabina E. said...

those googly eyes still give me the creeps