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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

(Rethinking) Spider inside and outside the Box

I noticed something move as I walked past a cardboard box on the porch.  It was this spider.

At first and for awhile thereafter I imagined in my haste or laziness that (the body shape and coloring of the legs reminds me of funnel web spiders, but after looking through hundreds (!?!) of funnel web spider photos, I found none with this pattern on the back and abdomen.)  No wonder I couldn't find the funnel web spider image to match!  As Cindy deftly pointed out in her comment below, this is a jumping spider.  Doh!  I agree this spider in a box looks like Menemerus bivittatus, grey wall jumper aka brown box jumper at least around here.  Based on pictures on bugguide I would say this is a female; the male' abdomen is striped longitudinally.  

Interestingly, the male grey wall jumper superficially closely resembles the male pantropical jumper (Plexippus paykulli) once found on my stovetop; both are striped, but the stripes are opposite light and dark positions.   I happed upon this article that discusses these two species as inhabitants of Florida; irrelevant, probably; weird coincidence, yes.

After I disturbed her peace on top of the box, the grey wall jumper let herself down inside the box with a silk strand.  I bothered her with my flash, then left.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

I have these spiders in my yard. I think it's a Gray Wall Jumper, Menemerus bivittatus.