Cute Little Jumping Spiders

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). (Thanks Dear Thomas for beautiful text and photos)
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.

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