Thursday, July 2, 2020

Tan Jumping Spider

I walked out in the garage earlier this morning, and there was this beautiful female Tan Jumping Spider, Platycryptus undatus, on the wall. A quick photo shoot was in order, and she didn't mind, often pivoting to face the camera. As jumpers sometimes do, she even leapt onto my lens at one point. If she sticks around, I may work with her on some lichen-dappled tree bark, which is what her patterning suggests.

Jumping spiders are highly charismatic, and usually fairly easy to work with from a photography perspective. They are highly alert to their surroundings, and often can be prodded to adjust their position by wagging a finger in the direction that you want them to turn. Garages and the walls of houses, sheds, and other buildings are great places to find several species of jumping spiders. Perhaps the most common around houses is the tiny Zebra Jumping Spider, Salticus scenicus, which seems to have an affinity for cement porches and steps. It's an elfin at about 1/5 of an inch, and can easily be overlooked. This female Tan Jumping Spider was a comparative giant, taping out at nearly an inch in length.

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