Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Invertebrate Blogging: Jumping Spider

This is a Jumping Spider (click the pic to enlarge), from the family Salticidae. When I first saw it, I thought it was a jumping spider from recent photos of similar appearing spiders, but I was not sure exactly which characteristics of the spider made it so. Here is a link to the site I used to ID this spider. This is the key part of the description: "Square-fronted cephalothorax bearing four very large anterior eyes. Legs usually short and stout with the first pair sometimes enlarged". The Wikipedia entry is also very descriptive. When I saw the family name, Salticidae, I immediately thought of a word with the same root, saltatory, as in saltatory conduction. Which is the means by which action potentials travel along myelinated nerve fibers, JUMPING from node (of Ranvier) to node.

Don't forget to check out Modulator's Friday Ark!

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Blogger Dope on the Slope said...


Do you have a new lens? That image is very clear and close up.

As for distinguishing characteristics of jumpers, I usually think of the robust cephalothorax and prominent eyes. They have to have great vision, since they depend on running down their prey. You probably noticed that they track you and generally try to keep their head facing you when you try to photograph them.

10:20 AM  
Blogger T. Beth said...

Wow, you really got a good close-up of the spider's surprisingly cute face!

4:13 PM  
Blogger Henry said...

I have noticed how they try to face me when I am watching them. I was surprised how clear the pics were especially considering the low light. Usually the flash makes too much glare that close up. I am still using the cybershot which is great considering its size, but I am considering getting a camera with a better zoom for far off objects.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Dope on the Slope said...

I am still using the cybershot which is great considering its size

I still have the first model of the cybershot that had that big Carl Zeiss lens. It takes very good macro pictures for a non-SLR camera.

If you decide to graduate to a digital SLR, you'll have some good macro lens choices (both Canon and Nikon). The lenses are expensive (>$400) but worth it. When I got mine this year, it revealed a lot of deficiencies in my technique - but it also opened up a lot of possibilities.

6:45 AM  

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