I have always been fascinated by jumping spiders. As a primary school student, my classmates would search the bushes along the fences looking for “fighting spiders”. They kept these in empty match boxes with a piece of green leaf and a spat of saliva for moisture.  They would engage these in battles with other spiders to see whose spider was stronger to become “first king”! Some even ‘sold’ their spiders to earn extra pocket money! The jumping spiders used locally come from the species Thiania bhamoensis (also called “Fighting Spider”).

 This is my first photograph ever of a jumping spider! Before this I have not seen a jumping spider this close (or enlarged) and it came to me as a big surprise to see those round eyes looking at me while I took this picture. I showed it to some friends and one of them asked for a print! He found it so cute! Jumping spiders are generally recognized by their eye pattern. All jumping spiders have four pairs of eyes with one pair, the anterior median eyes, being particularly large .

The jumping spider family (Salticidae) contains more than 500 described genera. With about 5,000 described species, they are the largest family of spiders with about 13% of all species. They have some of the best vision among arthropods and use it in courtship, hunting, and navigation. Although they normally move unobtrusively and fairly slowly, most species are capable of very agile jumps, notably when hunting, but sometimes in response to sudden threats.

To get this picture, I captured a jumping spider and kept him in a plastic container for a day. This was, hopefully, to make him hungry. The following day, I caught a fly and placed the fly with the spider. The results can be seen above. Seconds after I took this shot, the spider ran off under the table with his meal, and I didn’t get second opportunity to shoot more pictures.

Three more different types of jumping spiders shown. It’s interesting to note that all the spiders photographed here were found at my home!

For this picture, I placed a juvenile jumping spider on a red plumeria flower (Frangipani)  for contrast, and took his portrait before he ran off.

I was sitting on my sofa one afternoon, reviewing in-camera some shots I just took of a dragonfly, when this rather small jumping spider landed on my camera body! I noticed that he was different from most others around my house. So out came the macro lens; and indeed, he’s a beauty! Or is this a she?