If you didn’t know before, I’m an unrepentant fan of a whole ark of creatures people are predisposed to despise. Be it coyotes, vultures, hyenas, potato bugs, opossums… among the legions of their haters I stand loud and proud with a defender’s respect and fascination.
And that goes double for members of the highly aggressive, terrifically agile and ridiculously fearless family of arachnids known commonly as jumping spiders. So despite being late to work this morning, when I went outside to give our tortoise Buster her breakfast and passed this fine specimen dangling from the backyard bouganvilea by a self-spun tether I had to grab the cam and go macrotastic on it (non-arachniphobes click to enormify):
The coolest thing was this jumper wasn’t just playing tree ornament for nothing. It was actually employing a hunting tactic far less familiar to me than the far more typical stalk-and-pounce method I’d long known them for. Ignoring my intrusions, this spider hung there twisting in the light breeze, occasionally stretching its eight legs and patiently waiting for me to leave and for something winged to come within its deadly reach.