Monday, 20 January 2014

Jumping spiders

Taken in the Botanical Gardens, Sydney

I can understand why jumping spiders (Family: Salticidae) are often the poster-boys for spider enthusiasts (see Misunderstood Spider), they are so cute and charismatic it's hard not to love them.

They are also the family which Peacock spiders belong to, and if you haven't heard of them you really need to watch this YouTube video.

I found this little jumping spider on the beach in the Philippines at the beginning of 2013, and she quite happily played around on my hand for a good half hour or so.

I took her back to the hotel where she set up a nest in a box next to the bed and remained there for the rest of our stay.

If I didn't have such a good understanding of the ramifications of species introduction, she would have been on the plane back to Aus. with me.

Anyway, I've been finding so many jumping spiders in all parts of Sydney, I'm up to 18 different species already! The problem is, that the variety (and lack of) is bewildering. I have found many spiders with very similar patterns that turn out to be different species, such as these three:

But there are also many different colours and body types. Here are some of the other exciting species that I've found so far. I'm not sure which Genus any of them belong to, I still need to find myself a good key!