Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Zebra Spider

I was testing out my dad's new EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens in the garden of a holiday cottage in Warwickshire where I was staying in July 2014 when I spotted a small shell. I was trying to get a shot of it when it started moving and this zebra spider (Salticus scenicus) crept out, ran to the top and posed for me.

The zebra spider is a common jumping spider. Jumping spiders don't build webs, but pounce on their prey to catch them. They have a distinctive set of eyes, with two large ones in the middle at the front which gives them excellent binocular vision for judging distances, and two smaller eyes either side of these. There are a further two sets of two eyes behind the front four, the last pair of which allow the spider to see upwards. They hunt insects and other small spiders. Before jumping, they attach a silk thread to the surface that they are on so that if they miss they can climb back up the thread.

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