Jumping spider, San Diego, California, USA by Cindy Croissant

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There are over 6,000 species of jumping spiders (Salticidae). They are the largest family of spider and have some of the best vision among arthropods. They vary greatly in size 0.04–0.98 (1 mm to 25mm), have 4 front-facing eyes and big, furry front legs. I tend to briskly walk the other direction when I see spiders, but for some reason, I really like the jumping spiders in our backyard. Having said that, we only have a few, very tiny species and I’m not sure I would feel the same way encountering an inch-long spider that jumps. We have two Gingersnap roses in our backyard and one Saturday in July, I was watering my flowers when I saw what at the time, looked like a tiny, metallic blue “bug”. I ran in the house, grabbed my camera and luckily the spider was still on the rose petal. I took several photographs until he finally decided to take cover within the depths of the flower. I downloaded the photos, started to review them and realized he didn’t look metallic blue at all, but regardless, was very handsome and a species I had not seen before (or since).

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