|"They went that-away" - REK|
|Wolf Spiders (1) and Jumping Spiders (2)|
Like most spider families they actually have four pairs of eyes but the other two sets are on top of the head. They provide lateral vision looking for movement rather than focusing on the object. I tested this by moving my hand to its side. Sometimes this made it jump but with a slight movement it would make a tiny hop, turning 90 degrees to face me.
Identifying spiders to species is challenging but this is the rare exception. Even in the deep shade its metallic green color was impressive. This is a male Emerald Jumping Spider, Paraphidippus aurantius, as confirmed on Bugguide.
|"Look deep into my eyes, you slow human." - REK|
Part of their cuteness comes from the way they look up and watch you, especially those that people keep as pets. Yes arachnophobes, some people actually keep them.
Tree of Life provides further details:
"Jumping spiders are charming spiders that look up and watch you. Their excellent vision allows them to hunt much as do cats, spotting prey from long distances, creeping up then pouncing using their jumping ability. Although a jumping spider can jump more than thirty times its body length, none of its legs has enlarged muscles. The power for jumping probably comes from a quick contraction of muscles in the front part of the body increasing the blood pressure, which causes the legs to extend rapidly much as in the toy frogs that hop when you squeeze a bulb."Thus far I have not considered testing the strength of our marriage vows by bringing a "cute" jumping spider home. More on that in a later blog?