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Kentucky Color: Four-eyed Jumping Spider

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Next earlier Kentucky Color: Kentucky Color: Congregation of eight great egrets amazing sight.

By Billy Joe Fudge
Retired District Forester, KY Department of Forestry

The four-eyed jumping spider is an amazing creature.

As you might guess they have amazing eyesight and boy can they jump. Jumping spiders are, generally speaking, very small. The one in the accompanying photos is about 1/4 inch and is sitting on the hood of my Tahoe.

I've observed jumping spiders for years and I thought I knew them very well, but the close up photo from directly overhead revealed something I did not know.

All the photos I have seen show their eyeballs set in their face and looking forward as you can see in one photo. However, as can be seen in the other he or she has moved the eyes on top of the head and is looking directly into my camera. Hey, never too old to learn, right?

This 1/4 inch spider can very easily jump 2 inches as he did several times right onto the lens of my camera.

That is eight times his body length.

If a 6 foot tall human could do this same feat relative to body length he could probably jump over a semi-truck and trailer length wise.

Additionally, their jumping ability is performed with quick as lightning changes in blood pressure in the legs.

Jumping spiders have only enough muscles to walk not jump.

And yes, my Tahoe does need a bath but I didn't need a close-up to discover that! -Billy Joe Fudge

This story was posted on 2010-08-01 02:18:51
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Kentucky Color: Amazing Jumping Spider

2010-08-01 - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge. Adair Co., KY
Billy Joe Fudge notes that, while he has been observing four-eyed jumping spiders for years, he noticed something unusual about the fascinating creatures when this one posed for him on the hood of his Tahoe. On the left, the eyes appear to be looking forward, as most photos of the spiders show them. On the right, the eyes seem to have moved to the top of the spider's head, and are looking directly into the photographer's camera. The spider jumps, not with muscle, but with a sudden change in blood pressure in their legs.

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