Tag Archives: salticid

Jumping spider on decaying log

I think this is Phidippus princeps, but it’s a highly variable species and I didn’t feel like hacking it apart to examine genitalia. Plus I don’t know how to key out spider genitalia at all, so it would have been a senseless thing to do. But it was definitely capable of jumping: leaped onto my lens twice, which is always a bit unnerving. They are harmless, but when you are habituated to seeing them through a macro lens, the subconscious brain tags them as massive predators. I survived. This was one of three spiders I photographed within a small area in Swarthmore, PA, a few days ago.

Colin Purrington Photography: Spiders and ticks &emdash; Phidippus princeps

Colin Purrington Photography: Spiders and ticks &emdash; Phidippus princeps

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Daring jumping spider (Phidippus audax)

I’m pretty sure this is a daring (or bold) jumping spider, Phidippus audax. He was very, very large, though you can’t tell it from the photograph. Found at same location as the spider I posted earlier. It was a good spider day (and there’s even one more).  Swarthmore, PA.

Colin Purrington Photography: Spiders and ticks &emdash; Daring jumping spider (Phidippus audax)

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Kleptoparasitic fly stealing ant juice from jumping spider

I was photographing a spider a few days ago, and one frame that I was about to trash (jumping spider’s eyes not in focus) happened to show a kleptoparasitic fly that was drinking fluids from the captured ant. Because the fly is not especially visible I haven’t tried that hard to ID the fly (probably Milichiidae or Chloropidae), but I did find an interesting page showing a fly in Australia that was found near a salticid called an ant eater (Zenodorus orbiculatus).

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Kleptoparasitic fly on ant killed by jumping spider

If you have time to waste, here are some fun facts about kleptoparasitic flies:

  • Some species are attracted to volatiles released by captured prey (e.g., stink bugs). I have pics.
  • There are apparently some that are specialists on spiders (Brake and von Tschimhaus 2010).
  • It’s usually just females; when males present they might be looking for mating opportunities with females (Ibid.).
  • In Africa. there’s a milchiid that can induce ants to regurgitate (Wild and Brake 2009).
  • Some plants in the Apocynaceae seem to have evolved the ability to mimic the venom volatiles of paper wasps. The scent is attractive to kleptoparasitic flies because the wasps use the venom when they hunt (Heiduk et al. 2015). This is referred to as kleptomyiophily, apparently (new word for me).

If you really need to more, check out the http://www.milichiidae.info/. Sorry: the Chloropidae don’t have their own site.

I think the spider is Phidippus princeps. Happy to be told otherwise. Here are some better pics of the spider:

Colin Purrington Photography: Spiders and ticks &emdash; phidippus-princeps-eating-ant-003

Colin Purrington Photography: Spiders and ticks &emdash; phidippus-princeps-eating-ant-001

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