Bug Shots

A closer look at insect photography

Jumping Spiders (Family Salticidae)

Posted by Darren on June 30, 2010

Hi all, it has been a few weeks since my last post thanks to the colder weather and having to move house, but hopefully I’ll have some more shots up soon.  Local insect activity has reduced now that the colder weather is here, though looking around my new gardens there are still some interesting photo opportunities about.

Here are two examples of a common type of jumping spider (Family Salticidae) that I occasionally see around the garden.  I’m not going to hazard a guess at what species they are as there is a lot of diversity.   They are quite beautiful little spiders and amazing hunters if you see them capture prey.  They generally hide under leaves where they monitor any suitable prey within jumping distance.  They will then stalk their targets and jump at speeds faster than the eye can follow.  If you look at the eyes of these spiders, they must have almost 360 degree vision and can be disturbed easily if approached too quickly.  I’ve found that if you find a jumping spider and want to capture a photo head on, then firing the flash a few times will capture their attention and they will often turn to face you.  They almost seem to lock onto you and will keep following you with their 4 large front eyes.  They are truly a beautiful specimen who’s intricate details are lost to the naked eye thanks to their tiny size.  It is also common to have these spiders jump on you or the camera when you get too close.  I once spotted one on my shirt and went to gently brush it off only to have it jump onto my face and bite my lip.  I guess they aren’t too dangers as I’m still here, though they are amazingly fast.

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8 Responses to “Jumping Spiders (Family Salticidae)”

  1. Great shots! I find that here in Alberta many of the Salticidae are quite small and beyond the range of my lens combination if I want close, detailed shots. I find myself frequently lusting for the Canon MP-E 65 mm 1-5X macro lens!

    • Darren said

      Hi Adrian. I know what you mean about the MPE 65 mm. Perhaps we’ll get a Nikon equivalent one day! Have u tried any of the nikon TCs? Reviews show the quality to be excellent if you can manage a loss of a few stops of light. I’m currently looking into the TC 17eII to push my setup a little further.

  2. Thomas said

    Hi Darren, lovely photos. My blog is not too different in subject from yours. Do visit sometime.

  3. Good to have you back Darren! I was wondering what you had been up to all this time. The two photos on this post are magnificent. Looking forward to see more great bug photos from you!

  4. Mike B. said

    Wow- great shots! I posted some photos of zebra jumping spiders a couple of weeks ago but didn’t quite get the detail you are showing here. Nice work.

  5. […] Jumping Spiders (Family Salticidae) « Bug Shots […]

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