Zebra jumping spiders munching on mosquitoes (pics)


TPF Noob!
Dec 28, 2012
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I’ve been taking photos of zebra jumping spiders (Salticus scenicus) that have been hunting mosquitoes on the screen door to my kitchen. These spiders are really endearing in their movements and “attitude”...it’s too bad they are so tiny. Imagine how much fun they would be if they were the size of a tarantula! :)

Males of the species are apparently darker in colour, so I believe that the first photo below is of a male, and the second is a female. If anyone can confirm that, please let me know. There are more photos of each specimen on my blog.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera; Zuiko 35mm macro lens; manual exposure (F8-F11 @ 1/200 sec); Olympus RF-11 ring flash (1/8-1/4 power); ISO: 200


P7040536 2 jumping spider on screen ernie cooper 2013 by ernie.cooper, on Flickr
P7110479 jumping spider screen 2 ernie cooper 2013 by ernie.cooper, on Flickr
First shot is really cool. Love how the back legs fade away and his eyes pop.

The 2nd image flat being from directly above and is a little busy with all the legs and grids.
I can't erase this from my mind now.
I don't trust anything with that many legs and eyes!
I wish I had eight eyes for spares so I can switch them out.The two I have now are going south. #1 is the best of the duo IMO.
Mea culpa

There is a quote circulating on Facebook that basically says that you are doing science wrong if you don’t make mistakes; that you are doing science really wrong if you don’t correct those mistakes; and that you aren’t doing it at all if you don’t accept that you’re mistaken.

Well, it turns out that the darker spider is actually a different species: Platycryptus (probably P. californicus). It also turns out that what I thought were mosquitoes were actually non-biting midges (chironomids). Sigh. I have re-edited my blog and corrected these mistakes.

I must be doing GREAT science!

It’s interesting that two very similar species, one introduced and one native, were feeding on the same prey within inches of one another. I wonder whether the two species avoid each other (given their great vision) or if one ever preys on the other?

macrocritters | What's a nice bug like you doing in a place like this??
I wish I had eight eyes for spares so I can switch them out.The two I have now are going south. #1 is the best of the duo IMO.

I know how you feel!!! My vision gets worse every year...

some nice shots! Small jumpers are a blast, aren't they?

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