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Jumping spider with dinner

Last weekend I was enjoying the beautiful weather by preparing a nice BBQ dinner for the family. We had just sat down at the table (out on the deck) when my youngest son pointed out a “spider carrying another spider” (as he put it) on one of the deck posts. It turned out to be a juvenile Phiddipus jumping spider feeding on another spider (possibly a philodromid crab spider). Naturally I wanted to take some photos, but I opted to eat first and shoot later. So we all had dinner together: the humans ate sockeye salmon, nugget potatoes roasted in herbs and olive oil, Caesar salad, corn and a crisp white wine (yum!); while the arachnid feasted on its hapless cousin (tentatively identified as a philodromid crab spider).

Somewhat surprisingly the spider was still there when we finished eating (it even waited while I did the dishes)…

Photographed with an Olympus OM-D E-M5, Zuiko 6omm micro 4/3 macro lens and 16mm + 10mm extension tubes.


P5110417 jumping spider feeding on spider prey copyright ernie cooper 2014 by ernie.cooper, on Flickr

P5110377 new jumping spider feeding on spider copyright ernie cooper 2014 by ernie.cooper, on Flickr
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Cracking photos EC.

I love jumping spiders. Don't know how big they grow near you. In the UK they are ~1/2" across but very cool. Big forward-facing stereo eyes for hunting... and a few extras for watching the rest of the world.

I could be wrong, but I'm a bug guy myself, even if I don't sound like one anymore. (It's been a long time since I looked something up for it's proper name) :p

If the photo was taken on or near the date you posted it, and judging from what I've seen around my own place...that could very well be a juvenile wolf-spider that got made into a meal. The coloring is right for it, though I can't see the eyes clearly enough. It could also be a huntsman or even fishing spider if you live near a water source.

The point being I have definitely seen wolf-spider offspring small enough to be targeted by largish jumping spiders.

Love the photo, btw. Jumping spiders are in my top 5 favorite arachnids. :p