Book Review: Jumping Spiders by Joanne Randolph, in Nightmare Creatures: Spiders! Series Title #3

by DerdriuMarriner

Jumping Spiders is Nightmare Creatures: Spiders! series title #3. Joanne Randolph reveals facts on jumping spider bio-geography, life cycle, and natural history.

Jumping spiders claim the world's sharpest spider vision:

Scientists attribute leaps in a single bound of as much as 8 inches (20.32 centimeters) to jumping spiders. With body lengths ranging from 0.1 inch (2.54 millimeters) to 0.7 inches (17.78 millimeters), salticid spiders become inversely adept at greater distances with smaller corporeal sizes and vice versa. Scientists consider three anatomical features as critical to the successful jumps effectuated by salticid spiders:
• abdomen-attached spinnerets perfecting drag-lines;
• eight eyes, with the central-positioned, forward-looking, narrow-fielded pair contributing to the jumping spider's reputation as the arachnid class's most sharp-sighted araneans and the remaining six smaller eyes facilitating all-round vision; and
• four sets of cephalo-thorax-attached (merged head and thorax), seven-segmented legs ensuring non-skid landings regardless of surface thanks to tufted claws.

*****

website: http://www.rosenpublishing.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=40

*****

General distribution of jumping spiders

Salticidae habitat distribution, drawn after Platnick: World Spider Catalog 7.0.
Salticidae habitat distribution, drawn after Platnick: World Spider Catalog 7.0.

Jumping spiders do not have to work nights

 

Food sources do not stand much chance of surviving the combined onslaught of superior sight, silk, speed or strength regardless of whether the prey is another spider or insects (especially ants, dragonflies, flies, katydids, termites). Jumping spiders in fact emerge as daytime foragers and night-time residents of:

  • herbaceous and woody plant bark and leaves; and
  • leaf-littered, surface-soil stones.

They either flaunt their survival skills considerably as flamboyant, iridescent, sparkling males and unassuming, unobtrusive females or not at all as equally drab paired bark-dwellers or leaf-squatters. They go through their life cycles and natural histories as: 

  • claimants to 5,000+ of the world's 35,000+ known spider species; and 
  • 300 of the United States of America's 3,500 known spider species. 

 

courtship display of male Maratus volans, a species of jumping spider in the peacock genus.

male peacock spider
male peacock spider

Jumping spiders entertain human-like gazes and nest invasions

 

Jumping spiders have homelands worldwide even though their greatest representation overlaps with tropical climates. The jumping spider universally is recognized by: 

  • gaze uniquely and unspiderly following nearby human movement as if in curiosity or recognition; 
  • square-sided cephalo-thorax typically larger than the abdomen; 
  • start-stop movements jerking across surfaces; and 
  • whirling courtship dances. 

Female salticids join their eggs together in nests in rock crevices, under stones, or within silk-fastened leaves to be guarded until hatch-time into spiderlings. Scientists know of other female jumping spiders conducting nest invasions, eating the overthrown mother's eggs, and raising their own. Ad-libbing detours, avoiding hazards, imitating prey, injecting super-toxins, and moving vibration-lessly along another's webs lead nest-seeking salticids to be egg-guarding jumpers' worst nightmares. 

 

visual fields of a jumping spider

Diagram of spider's visual fields as viewed from above. Function of small posterior medial eyes (PME) is unknown.
Diagram of spider's visual fields as viewed from above. Function of small posterior medial eyes (PME) is unknown.

Jumping spiders find ways to jump off pages

 

New York's The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. marks the year 2014 for release of PowerKids Press's Nightmare Creatures: Spiders! series. It thereby narrows the gap between scientific illiteracy and literacy through: 

  • #1 Black Widow Spiders in the comb-footed family Theridiidae
  • #2 Crab Spiders in the prey-ambushing family Thomisidae
  • #4 Orb-Weaver Spiders in the orb-web family Araneidae
  • #5 Tarantulas in the downward-fanged family Theraphosidae; and
  • #6 Wolf Spiders in the wolf-like family Lycosidae

Jumping Spiders offers -- for third- to seventh-graders aged 8 to 12 years -- the salticid's culturally enriching, educationally entertaining bio-geographies, life cycles, and natural histories from:

  • book designer Andrew Povolny;
  • editors Norman D. Graubart, Jennifer Way;
  • photo researcher Katie Stryker; and
  • writer Joanne Randolph. 

 

Marpissa muscosa: a species of jumping spider inhabiting the gigantic Palaearctic ecozone: found widely in northern Europe and in south and east England.

closeup of female Marpissa muscosa
closeup of female Marpissa muscosa

Acknowledgment

 

My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.

 

Phidippus audax, known commonly as daring jumping spider, or bold jumping spider, is a common North American jumping spider.

face of adult male Phidippus audax
face of adult male Phidippus audax

Sources Consulted

 

Randolph, Joanne. 2014. Jumping Spiders. PowerKids Press: Nightmare Creatures: Spiders! Series Title #3. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. 

 

juvenile jumping spider on fish hook

Beltsville, Prince George's County, south central Maryland
Beltsville, Prince George's County, south central Maryland
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Jumping Spiders by Joanne Randolph

Nightmare Creatures: Spiders!
Jumping Spiders (Nightmare Creatures: Spiders!)

Jumping spider: photo by Micro Discovery ~ available via AllPosters

Jumping spider

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 03/11/2015, DerdriuMarriner
 
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?
4

Comments


   Login

You might also like

Book Review: Orb-Weaver Spiders by Joanne Randolph, in Nightma...

Orb-Weaver Spiders is Nightmare Creatures: Spiders! series title #4. Joanne R...

Book Review: Tarantulas by Joanne Randolph, in Nightmare Creat...

Tarantulas is Nightmare Creatures: Spiders! series title #5. Joanne Randolph ...


Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...
Error!