Zebra Jumping Spider - Salticus scenicus
Family Salticidae - Jumping Spiders
Live spiders photographed in Illinois. Size: 6mm
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Zebra Jumping Spider
Salticids do not build webs to snare prey, they only spin small silken retreat webs under leaves, bark or twigs. When hunting, jumpers always trail a silken strand from their spinnerets. If they are disturbed, they will rapidly descend on this lifeline to the ground and out of sight, or if they miss their jump, they can climb the thread back to their previous perch. These little guys are very adept at hiding, and if they do not want you to see them, you won't.  You can find an extensive article on the family at the Tree of Life Website.

Although a jumping spider can jump more than fifty times its body length, none of its legs has enlarged muscles. The power for jumping 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 the hydraulics in a low-rider car. [3]

Zebra Jumping Spider - Salticus scenicus
The jumping spiders in the Family Salticidae comprise the largest spider family worldwide, with over 4,400 species described. [1] Jumping spiders are distinguished from other spiders by their four big eyes on the face and four smaller eyes on top of the head. Around the world there are probably more than 5000 species of jumping spiders. Jumping spiders are charming lil buggers that look up and watch you.  Although a jumping spider can jump more than fifty times its body length, none of its legs has enlarged muscles. The power for jumping 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 the hydraulics in a low-rider car.
Zebra Jumping Spider - Salticus scenicus
These tiny spiders live and hunt by the hundreds in/on an aggregate landscape stone wall next to a pond.
References
  1. Bugguide.net, Family Salticidae - Jumping Spiders
  2. Bugguide.net, Zebra Jumping Spider - Salticus scenicus
  3. Maddison, Wayne. 1995. Salticidae. Jumping Spiders.
  4. Tree of Life Web Project. 1995. Salticus scenicus.
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