Webnesday (59): Junior Jumper

It has been quite some time—twelve weeks in fact—since my last Webnesday post featuring a new encounter and I, for one, have missed them. I have posted several from my archives during the isolation and now I’m happy to bring you a fresh one again.  I have presented this variety before, the last time having been five months ago (here), but think that this is the smallest one that I’ve seen. It’s quite possible that she hatched from the eggs laid in the web that I featured in that post. She’s a Bronze Aussie Jumper (Helpis minitabunda), and her species was first seen here in New Zealand in 1972, an immigrant from Australia. In these photos she’s exploring the tiny flowers of a hebe bush that grows in our garden. Her total leg span was only slightly more than a half centimeter (about a quarter of an inch). Fortunately, the sky was overcast and there was almost no breeze at all, both of which helped the photographic conditions considerably. And she was very patient with me during our ten minutes or so together, another real bonus.If you’d like to see more detail in any of these, just click on the photo, then click again.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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21 Responses to Webnesday (59): Junior Jumper

  1. Mike Powell says:

    Great shots, Gary, of such a tiny spider. The detail in all of them is stunning, but the final one grabs me the most. There is something mesmerizing about looking directly into those multiple eyes.

    • krikitarts says:

      Jumping spiders have the best eyes in the arthropod world. I am endlessly fascinated with how the primary (anterior median) eyes reflect the light according to where the spider is looking at the time. If it’s looking right at you, they’re usually coal black, but if they’re looking somewhere above you, they take on that gorgeous amber hue. So cool!

  2. The name of the plant aside, you’re fortunate this jumping spider didn’t have the heebie-jeebies. You took advantage of that to get some nice crisp shots.

  3. shoreacres says:

    ‘Bronze Aussie jumper’ is a wonderful name. It’s amazing to see such details in tiny creatures like this — not just that we can see them with the aid of technology, but that they’re ‘there.’

  4. Peter Klopp says:

    Very impressive macro images, Gary! I wonder how the immigrant spider migrated to NZ. I bet he was a stowaway.

    • krikitarts says:

      Very likely. Some bird species and some flying insects (and very probably some spiders too) have been blown here in storms, but I don’t think jumpers perform the “ballooning” feat (shooting out silk streamers that get caught in the wind and carry them away) to help them to disperse after hatching .

  5. Great mini-macros, Gary. Isn’t it amazing that such tiny creatures have all the same necessary parts as their larger cousins? I’ve had a couple of blood clots and that made me aware of just how narrow our own veins and arteries are. Just imagine how infinitesimal these might be.

    • krikitarts says:

      It’s not just the necessary parts that amaze me, but the way the immature ones act and react so much like the larger and more-experienced adults, rather than like awkward toddlers struggling to make sense of the world around them. I’ve had my own medical issues (remember my Bummer song), but no blood clots yet. And each new episode of departure from wholesomeness gives us a little more pause and perspective of the inevitable entropy. And your contemplation of the intricacies of the life systems of these wee folk strikes a real chord with me. I’ve done my share of delicate surgery with small dogs and cats but, yes, there’s another micro-dimension of anatomy and physiology here.

  6. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful portraits. :)

  7. Well spotted, and nicely captured, Gary!

    • krikitarts says:

      She was easy to spot, on the yellow lid of our recycling container–and she was still there a quarter of an hour later, just waiting for me to return and help her to a (hopefully) happier hunting ground on the hebe flowers. And she was pretty calm for me, too.

  8. Awesome photography!!

  9. What a wonderful pattern it has, very different from our jumping spiders. Very nice!

    • krikitarts says:

      The spectrum of diversity in the salticids is much more extensive than many folks realize, and it’s a source of frequent delight for me. Thanks, Belinda!

  10. bluebrightly says:

    Wow, even a slight arachnophobe can appreciate these. How nice that you had such good conditions and a cooperative subject. Terrific!

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m happy to hear it, Lynn. This little one didn’t have such a fierce countenance as some others that I’ve experienced. She’s not the cutest, I’ll freely admit, but it’s a treat to learn that I’m helping to raise the tolerance level for these wee wonders.

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