Tag: nonscaryspiders

Photography Challenge Day 134: The jumping spider

So today’s winner of the photography challenge is the jumping spider that was hanging around the patio table and chairs.

We usually have several small spiders hanging around the patio table and chairs during the summer. I know that there are other spiders (such as the black widow) out in the yard under rocks and behind logs—I leave those guys alone.

A jumping spider (I think) on the arm of the chair

So the jumping spider family (Salticidae) is the largest spider family with 610 recognized living and fossilized genera and over 5800 described species.

Other cool facts about jumping spiders include:

Depending on the species, their diet can range from small insect to plant matter, nectar, or even small frogs (for the larger jumping spiders).

They can sing and dance.  Seriously check out some of the youtube videos on the peacock spiders.

They have sensory hairs that detect vibrations and send signals to their brain, and act as “ears”.

While I’m not a big fan of spiders, I go out of my way to leave them alone and hopefully not walk through a web in the morning. The only time I will kill a spider is if I recognize that it is a harmful spider that could hurt me (brown recluse or black widow), it breaks the rule and I see it (but again mainly if it is a brown recluse or black widow), or I don’t realize that I walk right through it’s web (usually first thing in the morning leaving).

I am going to try to see if I can get some more pictures of jumping spiders (as they are the most common “friendly” spiders that I see outdoors) this summer. This way I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone, and controlling how I react to seeing certain things.

Reference: mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/jumping-spider

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Photography Challenge Day 34: The insect and arachnid edition

Well spring is definitely in the air–I’ve been seeing numerous insects around, especially lady bugs. It seems that every time I turn around there is a lady bug in the hall. I released a couple of them throughout the week, deciding that they would probably be better off outside than possibly getting stepped on inside.

Today’s pictures are of some of the other creatures I saw last week around campus. Luckily I knew that the small spider that I was looking at was a harmless little wolf spider, and the I saw the wasp (or hornet) through the window.

Little wolf spider

This little wolf spider was actually walking down the hall close to the restrooms. After taking it’s picture, I nudged it towards the wall and out of the path of humans. I usually don’t like seeing spiders–but I knew that this one wasn’t one that posed a threat to me so I left it to it’s hunting. Now if it was a brown recluse–that one would have been introduced to the toilet after being stepped. At least I know that there is something trying to keep the other insect pests under control within the building.

Hornet (or wasp) on the window

I was walking back towards the office and looking out the window and I saw this guy just sitting on the glass. I couldn’t help but get a close up picture, and be thankful that there was a nice thick pane of glass between us.

With seeing the hornet (or wasp) this early in the year I have a feeling that it’s going to be a very buggy spring and summer. I know that wasps (and hornets) serve an role in any ecosystem–I just hope that they end up as food for some other critter and not flying around the inside of buildings on campus. I’m also lucky enough not to be allergic to their stings, but also have been lucky enough never to have gotten stung by a wasp (or hornet). I think almost all children get stung by sweat bees or accidentally step on a bee when walking bare foot through the clover (unless you’re allergic to them and then most people avoid areas where they are).

Since flowers are blooming, I’m hoping that over the next few weeks I can get some pictures of honey and bumble bees feeding and pollinating the flowers.

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