Spider den

Earlier in October I came across a little silk sac of what I thought were eggs, until I saw it through the macro lens–saw one hairy leg reaching out–and realized it was a jumping spider house. The little spider looked so cozy in there. I found a different species of jumping spider by the garden and in the field–they ranged from black to brown in colour, with red/orange markings (like this one had). The red mark on one’s back was in the shape of a heart, and they were larger than the Zebra jumping spiders (about 6mm, as opposed to 4).

And then I started finding jumping spiders everywhere. As I was taking a photo of this fly,

I noticed a little one on the next flower over.

It moved to a leaf where it captured a fly twice its size and carted it away into the darkness. Jumping spiders don’t make webs, but stalk and attack their prey. They use their silk-making abilities to create their dens and to cast out drag lines before they jump, with the help of their remarkable vision.

And while taking photos of the Cuckoo Wasp awhile back, I noticed this one keeping an eye (or four, or eight!) on me from a blade of grass.

I’m going to miss these little guys over the winter, they’ve been very entertaining!

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Comments
18 Responses to “Spider den”
  1. suraya says:

    awesome!

  2. Wonderful series of photos and information about the spiders! I love seeing the details and textures!

  3. Cait says:

    Thanks suraya and karen!

  4. sandy says:

    These are just wonderful photos, Cait. A macro lens?

  5. montucky says:

    Those are incredible photos, Cait! Wonderful! I love jumping spiders but haven’t seen any this year.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I love jumping spiders – they’re so cute! Currently a good-sized one seems to have taken up residence in my kitchen, and as far as I’m concerned he’s welcome to stay as long as he likes, though my housemates are less than thrilled.

  7. Cait says:

    sandy: Thanks! Yes, a macro lens (zuiko f3.5 – it’s not very fast, but for most things I find it’s great).

    montucky: Thank you! I love them, too. Maybe next year!

    Rebecca: Oh, you’re lucky! I think a jumping spider would make an excellent house guest. Hopefully, your housemates will come around. I saw your post on jumping spiders – that’s a really beautiful one you found.

  8. Barbara says:

    Oh dear, Cait, spiders for Halloween… I’m totally irrational with fear when it comes to spiders so I wasn’t sure if I could follow along with your narrative without spazzing out… (I won’t even permit fake ones in the house for the holiday…) But, if ANYONE could make these dreaded beasts seem appealing or tolerable, it would be you. “One hairy leg reaching out” would have made me drop the camera and head for the hills! On the other hand, the expression on his tiny four-eyed face made me smile. And he looks so much better out there hunting and stalking on the leaves than he would running across the kitchen counter in here. So I made it through your post and my family won’t believe it when I tell them. Great pictures, Cait!

  9. wowza…got the heebie jeebies…but in a good, awe struck way. Love that you get up close to show us another world. Thanks.

  10. Cait says:

    Barbara: Thank you so much, I just love your descriptions! I have two family members and a colleague who have similar reactions to spiders, so I do understand and am really impressed you made it all the way through AND were able to appreciate the “tiny four-eyed face.” Thanks again 🙂

    Jessie: Good to know the heebie jeebies can be ok – thanks for stopping by!

  11. Stunning photos!!
    They’re really beautiful.

  12. Cait says:

    Thanks so much, Jennifer, and for coming by 🙂

  13. donald says:

    can’t say i have ever seen a jumping spider, will have to start paying more attention to the spiders around here.

  14. Cait says:

    donald: I’m sure you have many! 🙂 I had never noticed them before this year, but once I saw the first one, I could find them easily.

  15. Simply entrancing, Cait! That second photo in particular – I just want to squeeze inside and share the space! We don’t have the jumping spider over here so I’m jealously looking at the world solely through your very gifted eyes on this one. And while I’ve been away I see that you’ve been featured on Freshly Pressed. Well deserved and congratulations! Looking forward to what you do find over winter while the spiders are away!

    Cheers,
    Julian

  16. Cait says:

    Thanks for your very kind and supportive words, and for visiting when you get a chance, Julian! It really is a delightful little home, isn’t it? I see you’ve got a new story up, which is great – I’m really looking forward to reading it, as usual. All the best to you!

  17. missusk76 says:

    Very impressive and very beautiful images!

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