At least once every week, a furtive little spider hops around on my desk, full of nervous energy. At least, I manage to catch him in the act once a week or so. The delightful little fellow is a male “Larger Housefly Catcher“, Plexippus paykulli.
The only way to catch him on the camera is to literally herd him in towards the lens: I block his forward direction of motion with his other hand, some times hit the surface hard so that he spends at least a second standing still. Jumpy little bugger though, he’ll jump on my hand or on the lens unannounced if he doesn’t get his way.
Also, I don’t know if you can tell, but he’s perched on my jeans in this particular picture. 🙂
I think one of the reasons that Jumping Spiders appear so emotive in the appearances, giving off strong vibes of apparent curiosity and innocence is because of the way their eyeballs work. Unlike vertebrates (and like most of their invertebrate cousins,) their eyeballs are fixed in nature – they cannot move around independent of their heads.
While most other invertebrate eyes have large fields of vision, the Jumping spider eyes have a rather narrow field: which means that they need to turn not just their head but almost their entire body in whichever direction they want to see. And voila. The spider becomes more emotive. 🙂
Hat-Tip to Joseph KH Koh’s lovely A Guide to Singapore Spiders for ID help. It’s the only excellent tropical spider guide that I’ve found till date.
Metadata Canon Powershot G11. ISO 80. f/5.6 at 1/500 second. Edited using Picasa 3.8 and Adobe Photoshop CS5. Taken in August 2011 at my workplace near Bommasandra, Bangalore, India.