Jumping spider, Huejutla, Hidalgo, México by Eduardo Axel

Picture Story

Adult female of a jumping spider of the Phiale mimica species, belonging to the Salticidae family, which is distributed in Brazil, Mexico, Panama and Peru. It is often observed raising and "waving" its first pair of legs, possibly mimicking the antennae of a velvet ant. Unlike ants and other insects, which have three pairs of legs, two pairs of antennae and a body divided into three segments (head, thorax and abdomen), the spiders have four pairs of legs, no antennae, and only two segments (cephalothorax, or prosoma, and abdomen, or opisthosoma). Thus, it is common for those spiders to raise a pair of legs so that they resemble the antennae of ants and other insects. This colorful, shiny, velvety ant is actually a type of wasp, and causes an extremely painful sting. This type of mimicry usually gives spiders protection against predators. Jumping spiders are very curious and it is very fun to photograph them, some species tend to jump at the lens when you are focusing and ruin the shot, so you have to look again for the ideal moment to take a good shot.

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