Feature Journal

Marvelling at the Eyes of a Jumping Spider

23 March 2012
The Jumping Spider‘s (Salticidae) anterior median eyes are one of the largest amongst all other spiders, possibly with the exception of the Ogre-Faced Spider. However, if we were to measure the size of the eyes with respect to the body, the Jumping Spider stands clearly on top of the list.

A typical Jumping Spider would have 2 big Anterior Median Eyes (AME) in the center of the face, with 2 smaller ones at the side of the face (A). 2 equally small ones (B) would be at the top the carapace to cover the rear vision and finally, a last pair just in front of them (C). Yes, total of 8 eyes. =D This is illustrated in #1 below.

The AMEs have high visual acuity but a very narrow field of vision. They are long and tubular, and can only have a narrow field of vision. It is able to look around by moving the retina within the carapace – that is why we can spot jumping spiders with colours of their AMEs changing. When the colour is at it’s darkest, the spider is looking straight at you.

Jumping Spider Eyes#1 Position of the eyes of a Jumping Spider.

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - i02813_cropped#2 The eyes (AME) of the jumping spider are most beautiful when captured straight on. Of course, this may be subjective, but it is my favorite angle. 🙂

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - i02830#3 A wider view. If you could squint and look closer, you might see my hand in the reflection of the eyes.

#4 Cropped view of the above. See my fingers? I was trying to block the focusing light.

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - i02833#4 Lovely details on the jumping spider

Jumping Spider (Siler sp.) - DSC_9278#5 Very colourful jumping spider (Siler sp.)

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_8665#6 Yet another cute fella

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_8113#7 From the looks of this picture, this Jumping Spider is not looking at the camera. Otherwise, the AMEs would be almost black.

Yellow-Lined Epeus Spider (Epeus flavobilineatus) - DSC_5746#8 Epeus flavobilineatus guarding her eggs

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_0104#9 A broader head, but just as cute!

Jumping Spider (Epeus flavobilineatus) - DSC_9037#10 Some have punk-like hairdos

Jumping Spider (Pystira ephippigera) - DSC_9165#11 While others have a very black face, like this Pystira ephippigera

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_8041#12 Most of them tend to look up as you approach them

Jumping Spider (Telamonia elegans) - DSC_7687#13 They come in lots of beautiful colours too!

Jumping Spider (Portia sp.) - DSC_5646#14 Most are just as curious, like this Portia labiata

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_5505#15 Some look super duper adorable

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_1908#16 The hair on top of the carapace is almost always crooked. lol

Wide-Jawed Viciria (Viciria sp.) - DSC_9537#17 Some have really oversized jaws

Heavy Jumper (Hyllus diardi) - DSC_7713#18 Some grow over 15mm long, like this Heavy Jumper

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_7642#19 Some have long, slender legs

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_8089#20 Some were found to be doing yoga

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_5673#21 And more often than not, they appear really shy. lol

Just a quick collection of jumping spiders here, hope you enjoyed them. 🙂 Now for the usual finds….!

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - i02699#22 Brown huntsman spider with a captured katydid. 69 position?!?!

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - i02708#23 Front view

Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - i02714#24 Victor found this Lynx spider with a fresh brood of spiderlings

Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - i02719#25 Mama looking on her little baby

Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - i02724#26 Closer look at the spiderlings

Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - i02759#27 How to look after so many kids?!

Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - i02765#28 Mama got busy and captured a flying ant!

Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - i02789#29 Another view of the capture

Fungus Weevil? (Anthribidae?) - i02792#30 Unknown beetle

Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae) - i02799#31 A longhorn beetle in the usual face-down position

Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae) - i02801#32 Documenting the side profile

#33 Found a cute pair of mating fireflies. Initially thought that they were net-winged beetles. Should have switched off the lights to see them glow in ecstasy!

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - i02894#34 A not so friendly crab spider

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - i02901#35 Another cute jumping spider!

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - i02905#36 Not interested in me… so it wandered off

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - i02919#37 Last shot of the unfriendly crab spider

The complete album can be viewed here.
1 Comment
  1. Reply

    Daddy Bear

    8 January 2013

    Lovely series and excellent documentation. Great knowledge shared and I enjoy the captions!! Tks for sharing Nicky!!



Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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