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SEM image of the week: Jumping Jack Flash

Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by for SEM.

When playing video games, I always get a tingle when I get a kill or something really interesting happens. Well, this time the chill happened to come from a spider landing on my arm. Identified as a jumping spider by Mr. Rumpolo, this guy landed on my arm when I was gaming and was just crawling around.

This specific spider has four front facing eyes, each with the ability to see in different channels that extend to the ultraviolet range. The two eyes on top are used for the avoidance of threats — though I guess it didn’t see me coming. The abdomen of this spider is unusually small while its body is large so that they can jump further. The jumping spider alters the pressure of body fluid within itself to jump even though its legs aren’t muscular. The jumping spider attaches itself to a filament of silk before jumping as a precaution, just in case the jump fails. This allows them to climb right back up the silk tether.

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Text credit: Chris Ayala. Image credit: Glenn Elert.