Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dr. Johnson’s Pretty Spider

This is a red-backed jumping spider, also known as a Johnson’s jumper, Phiddippus johnsoni.  The black stripe on the back indicates that this is a female. They have large fangs and will bite; they have venom but are not as toxic as some spiders. As with most spiders, these have eight eyes. Studies have determined that these spiders have acute eyesight, much better than most other spiders. This is crucial in tracking moving prey as they do not build webs.

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This North American spider was named for Dr. O. B. Johnson of the University of Washington at Seattle whose extensive arachnid collection added a great deal to our collective knowledge. I guess he was the original Spider man.

An interesting little side-track I came upon: This spider was introduced to New Zealand by the import of grapes. Australia prohibits the import of any products that may contain these spiders or their eggs and go to extreme measures to prevent these, as well as black widows, from coming in.

1 comment:

Floridacracker said...

SPIDER!!!
RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY!

They just give me the willies!