Jumper with Eight Eyes

A Jumping Spider

Thiodina sylvana, a Jumping Spider

Jumping Spiders (family Salticidae) are marvelous little creatures. They have a very characteristic square-headed look, and many of them are brightly colored. Jumping Spiders do not catch their prey in a web, but creep slowly around and then run down or pounce on the victim. Their vision is very good and they are adept at stalking to get within striking range. As they creep about, they leave a thread of silk attached at intervals to the substrate behind them. In the event of a fall, or when jumping to elude a predator, they are suspended on a silk thread and can either climb back up or let themselves down.

I spotted this little one (1/2 inch long) on our front door frame, As far as I know, this creature does not have a common name, so we will have to use the scientific name, Thiodina sylvana. Field marks for this species are the stripes on the abdomen and cephalothorax and the white spot in the middle of the cephalothorax. This one is a male; the female is more drab in coloration.

Jumping Spider Eyes

Thiodina sylvana eyes

Like most spiders, Jumping Spiders have eight eyes. The two in the front are very large and remind one of the headlights of a car. There are three more eyes on each side of the cephalothorax. The second pair of eyes, which are just behind the large “headlight” eyes, are small and difficult to see. The enlarged photograph above shows four of the eight, including both of the large “headlight” eyes in the front and two more eyes on the bottom edge of the cephalothorax. These look like brown beads on stalks. Look for them in the top photograph now that you know where to look.

 


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