My Digital Photography of
Phidippus Jumping Spiders
Volume 2: 2008-2009 (Spiders #32-45)
The following jumping spiders, likely all of the species Phidippus audax, were photographed in the Metro-Detroit area. Photographs are sorted so that most recent photos are at the top of the page.
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I found this spider at my previous house trapped in between the storm door and the main door. She was very thirsty and cold. I brought her home, photographed her on November 8, 2009, and released her in a sunny window in the family room. She was quite feisty during her photo shoot. It was difficult to get good photos as she was always on the move. I was especially happy to have captured two action shots, shown first. She is photographed on the same leaf I found while photographing the largest maple tree in Hines Park earlier this fall.
Sometime in January 2010, I found her again and it didn't look like she was doing so well, so I put her in a cage and am keeping her safe and fed during the winter. Here she is photographed on February 10, 2010. Her "moustache" isn't as prominent.
Here she is on June 19, 2010. I decided to set her free outside on August 4, 2010 to live the rest of her life.
I found this spider on November 8, 2009, one of the last "warm" days of the year. It was about 55 degrees outside and she was in the sun on the wall. I brought her inside and released her in the kitchen after her photo shoot. Hopefully, she will remain and I will see her periodically over the winter. She is photographed on some gourds, an onion, and the same leaf I found while photographing the largest maple tree in Hines Park earlier this fall.
Sometime in January 2010, I found her again and it didn't look like she was doing so well, so I put her in a cage and am keeping her safe and fed during the winter. Here she is photographed on February 10, 2010. She shed her skin about a week ago.
She is still alive and well on July 15, 2010.
Sadly, on Christmas Day, she died. I wish I would have gotten more pictures of her when her hairs were white. She was so pretty and was one of the largest spiders I ever had.
This spider was given to me by a student on June 8, 2009, but wasn't photographed until June 22, 2009. He was missing one of his hind legs when she found him.
Spider #42 --- Click here to see her babies!
This spider was guarding an egg sac that I relocated from a bad place. These photos were taken on June 22, 2009.
On June 29th, I could see the babies inside the egg sac...
On July 20, I obtained some photos of her outside the sac, as her babies had now hatched.
This female was found on a flower pot I was just about to throw in the recycling bin until I noticed her hanging onto the side. At first, I thought she might be the escaped #38, but her markings didn't match, so she's definitely a new spider. She was photographed on June 22, 2009. She appeared to be eating the pollen from this flower.
Spider #40 "Robospider"
I found this spider near the kitchen sink area shortly after "Solara" escaped. At first, I thought he must be the male I lost previously in the house, #37, but he didn't have the "moustache" and I didn't think that was something they would lose with time, although maybe it is. I am calling him a different name and number though. He is named Robospider because he is one of the kind that really makes greatly exaggerated robotic movements every time he travels anywhere or looks around. Not all of them act quite this robotic. From May through mid-June, he came out on many days to surprise me and had a few close calls. One time, he was on the coffee-maker and could have gotten inside and drowned. Another time, he was on the faucet while I was washing dishes and I didn't notice him until I had washed several items. I leave out a shallow dish (tupperware lid) for him to drink from near the sink, but apparently, he must not be using it since he was trying to get water straight from the faucet. I finally photographed him on June 1, 2009 on the peony flowers before giving him a hearty cricket meal and releasing him near the sink again. He was very cooperative during his photo shoot, allowing me to nudge him different ways and he would stay there and pose. It was very easy to get some good shots of him. I even made an animation of him "dancing."
Spider #38 "Solara" Part 2
I hadn't seen this spider in almost 3 months after setting it free in the house after its photo shoot on December 13, 2008. I re-captured her and fattened her up on crickets before re-releasing her near the kitchen window. It was photographed below on my orchid on March 14, 2009. She stayed by the kitchen window for almost two months, coming out on sunny days to be fed crickets in a cup that she learned to jump into with no fear as soon as she saw me approaching. Then one day near the beginning of May, I saw her on the OUTSIDE of the kitchen window! She had somehow gone through the interior of the window framing and made it outside. I tried to catch her, but she went up too high for me.
Like spider 38, I've had this one since the summer, but only now had a chance to photograph it. Now, it is loose in my house somewhere. Here it is on a Christmas cactus flower and yellow rose photographed on December 13, 2008.
Spider #38 "Solara"
I've had this spider since the summer, but I didn't have time to photograph it. I set it free in the new house after its photo shoot on a Christmas cactus flower on December 13, 2008.
This cute "moustached spider" was photographed on August 11, 2008. I rarely find jumpers with this extra row of bristles, that I like to call a "moustache" so I'm always happy when one comes my way. I set it free in the new house around December. I finally found it again on January 9, 2009 and it was much thinner. He was only about 10-12 feet from his release point, so he didn't go far. He had come down from the blinds on a silk strand and Brian noticed him. I hurried up and got a cup and luckily had a cricket to spare from Radinka's cage. I put him in the cup with a piece of napkin and the cricket and within seconds, he had the cricket in his fangs. At first, he tried to carry it out of the cup, but then decided to hide behind the napkin and eat it. In the morning, he was gone and just the shell of the cricket remained. I didn't see him again until January 31st---he appeared at the kitchen window. I fed him in the cup again and he finished his cricket and left. I also gave him some water before feeding him---he was thirsty. He came out again the next day too! However, I haven't seen him since and wonder if he may have fallen prey to Spider #38, whom I also found near the sink area.
Spider #36 --- Platycryptus undatus
This spider was found on the window screen on July 30, 2008. It's been over two years since I've found one of this species. I've taken so many photos of her she needed her own page. I have even made a few animations from the photos.
Click here or on her picture below to see her photo shoots.
"Toddler" Spider #35
On July 30, 2008, I picked some butterfly bush flowers to photograph some other insects on. To my surprise, this little jumper had tagged along. I have a strong feeling it is one of the babies I let go a few weeks ago. It was nearly 1/4" long and this is exactly the area where I released quite a few of the babies.
Maneater and Spider 32's Babies
Exactly one month later, July 14, 2008, the second batch of babies began to emerge. It took them about 3 days to all leave the sac. This time, there were 31 babies. About a week and a half ago, it looked like Maneater might have laid another egg case inside the resting sac. There is a round bulge at the center. Apparently, she has the ability to store a male's sperm and lay eggs at her leisure (I also googled it to make sure I was right about my assumption). So who knows, maybe these babies weren't all from spider #32. The first two pictures show one of the babies in reference to mama's foot, which is sticking out from the sac.
"Maneater", Spider #34
Woooo-oh here she comes, watch out boy, she'll chew you up! This mama has already killed two different males after mating with them. She is the mother of the babies underneath her photos. She's already laid another batch of eggs from the second male #32. I can't wait until they hatch! She's a very hairy jumping spider, comparatively speaking---I noticed her babies seemed to have rather long hairs as well. She was photographed on June 17, 2008.
Update: Sadly, Maneater died on March 24, 2009. I had her for about a year.
Thirty-two babies emerged from one of my pet female, Maneater's egg sacs on June 14, 2008. She is the same female who mated with spider #32, but these were babies from a different male that I don't think I photographed. I released them all outside. It was nighttime, so it wasn't too hot for them (they can dry up almost instantly on a hot summer day). The day after was mild, but a bit rainy, so I hope they survived. These are the best baby photos I've ever gotten before---remember, these things are only about 1/16" long! A few babies are photographed on a yellow coriopsis flower and bishop's weed flowers (kind of like Queen Anne's Lace flowers). One thing I learned is that before they even emerge from the mother's original sac, they have already molted once---I found a whole bunch of tiny spider skins inside the sac. That's why they seem so much larger than the eggs they came from. I also made an animation from a series of photos.
This spider was photographed on June 10, 2008. It is more unusual than some because it has orange spots on its abdomen rather than the traditional white spots. I had been keeping it for a few months, but I decided to release it today after giving it a hearty meal. It was quite a spectacle---I would try to move the spider to the peony flower to photograph it, but if the spider touched my hand, it would drop the cricket. Then I would have to set the cricket near the spider and wait a few seconds. It would creep up on the cricket and grab it again. This happened about 10 times. I finally released the spider outside with its cricket in tow. I also made a few animations from some of the photographs. This time, I used a tripod.
It saddens me to look at these photos as I post them. I took them on June 3, 2008, but didn't have a chance to post them until the 11th. Since then, there has been a tragedy. I put this beautiful guy in with a female I had, now called "Maneater". She had mated and eaten her previous mate about 3 months ago and laid an egg sac that hatched 32 baby spiders, so I thought I would try mating her again with this very large male. I thought maybe her other mate was too small and more defenseless and that maybe she wouldn't try to attack this male. She was living in a small container and had built two separate resting chambers. One had been left unoccupied for months. After feeding her a large cricket, I put her small house inside of a larger aquarium, where I had released this guy along with several more crickets. Within about an hour, she had left her old house and had begun exploring. The male had entered her house and started hanging out in her normally unoccupied resting sac, which made me think that maybe it was somehow chemically marked as being set up for him to stay in---he headed right for it from the time he got in the aquarium. The first day, I didn't observe anything unusual. He did a few displays for her and she seemed happy to be walking around in the more open spaces of the aquarium. But the next time I checked in on them, she was eating him. I couldn't believe it. I guess I'm done trying to set her up with a mate. I just hope they mated before she ate him, so his life didn't go to waste. He was such a cutie, and so friendly while I took his pictures. It was like he knew what I was trying to do. I will miss this guy.
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