This is a picture of a spider called Pseudeuophrys lanigera from the Salticidae family known as Jumping Spiders. Its name is apparently derived from the Latin for ‘death monster’ which seems a somewhat disproportionate name for a small furry spider just 4 or 5mm in length although, to be fair, if you were a few millimetres in size yourself then the name would probably be altogether more appropriate.
If you’re struggling with the pronunciation of this spiders name, don’t worry, Pseudeuophrys lanigera is also sometimes known by the easier moniker of the House Jumping Spider.
This particular one appears to be a female as it doesn’t have the dark, enlarged front legs that males of the species posses.
Whilst watching this particular spider and corralling it in to position to take the above picture it occasionally lived up to its family name and jumped so quickly as to appear to teleport small distances.
They achieve these incredible jumps hydraulically by changing the pressure of fluids within their body to produce sudden bursts of power.
Sunny Side Up
The rather disturbing shadow cast by the spider in this image is the result of a wash of early morning sunshine which allowed the picture to be taken without the use of a flash.
It seemed unfair to subject this tiny spider to a camera flash that would probably have caused great distress if not permanent damage to the spiders array of 8 highly sensitive eyes.
The Salticidae family of spiders are known to have very acute eyesight which combined with their impressive jumping powers make them accomplished hunters.
They use there silk to aid their movement and also to build nests for young but do not build a web relying instead on their dexterity to catch prey.
This species and the closely related Zebra Jumping Spider (which as the name suggests has a more stripey appearance) can often be seen hunting on walls both inside and outside buildings during the summer months.
If you know any more about these spiders please use the comments box below to share what you know.