Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jumping Spider

I said earlier that I would be through with the flags by June 1, so why haven’t I pulled all the flags and put them away? I did complete my spraying activities on schedule, but as I was pulling the flags, I found that some were being used as a home. The dark mass showing inside this rolled flag is one of the creatures that thought red was a super color for a house.

Here’s that dark shadow, now out in the open. This is a female Phidippus audax, a type of jumping spider. When seen at a distance, they are a velvety black with white spots. This is a very common spider that I seem to see everywhere. When I was younger, I used to keep them as pets. They would associate the opening of their cage with the appearance of food and would come out of hiding and stand ready to receive supper.

This is what she was doing inside the rolled flag. The flag must make good protection for the silken egg case. Plenty of babies were hatched here.

As I collected the flags, I kept the spider flags separated from the others and stuck them in the ground at the edge of the field near the house. I had a total of about 40 spider flags, so the edge of the yard is going to have a spider population explosion. Most of the females and young have left. The females often hunted on the flags or dropped on a thread the hunt in the vegetation below. They have amazing eyesight and would scurry back into their flag nests as soon as I approached.

I suppose you think I’m going to do something cute like put “The End” here. You would be wrong to think that, even though I did just put “The End”. There I did it again. What I intended to show is the pattern on the top of the abdomen. The spider ID books normally make some type of reference to this pattern, so it pays to make note of it. I actually got a lot of shots like this. The spider kept running from me and I had a tough time getting it to stay still long enough to get a full body shot.


  1. That first photo of the spider is amazing. You did an incredible job capturing it. Those eyes...kind of spooky. Your plans for your property certainly keep you busy. I admire your diligence! ~karen

  2. Thanks, Karen. I must admit to feeling busy at times.