This week’s spider is inspired by a beauty that I found in my shower (!) a couple weeks back. Not entirely sure why she was trying to set up camp in there, unless perhaps she was thirsty. Anyway, here are a few glamour shots, plus a couple cool facts about this species. Enjoy the holiday weekend!
Anasaitis is a small, currently paraphyletic genus (part of a clade with Corythalia. See: Zhang & Maddison 2013) . Most species are found in the Caribbean, but A. canosa occurs throughout the Southeastern United States.
This species often feeds on ants, as individuals live in leaf litter of forest floors. One observational study of A. canosa‘s hunting behavior found that this species will follow its prey along complex routes, and are perhaps even capable of internalizing and triangulating prey location. See the following paper for more info. It’s a very fun read! Hill 2006 Predatory pursuit of ants.
Like many other spiders, females produce egg sacs that they guard until the eggs hatch. Here’s a picture of my new friend with her newly produced sack. Hopefully I’ll get to see a few little jumper spiderlings sometime soon!
Last but not least, here’s a great video that makes the “twin flags” and beautiful iridescence of A. canosa much more apparent.
Everyone, meet Linda, my new Phidippus texanus! I have spent way too much time watching/taking pictures of her this week, so I thought that I might as well share with everyone else.
Spiders that belong to the North American genus Phidippus are some of the most well known jumping spiders of the Salticid family, as they are usually rather large and charismatic, and often have bright green chelicerae.
Like many animals, Phidippus texanus is sexually dimorphic, in that females are mostly brown with some white stripes on their backside (see below), while males are black with bright red-orange coloring on the dorsal side of their abdomen (see picture here). This extreme coloration is possibly due to years of sexual selection, where male coloring could be a signal of health, good genes, etc… (see more on sexual selection here).
Anyway, I’m off to go do some DNA extractions for the rest of the afternoon, more info to come on P. texanus in the coming weeks!