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Jumping spiders although small are very interesting to keep or observe in the wild this one is a common spider from North America and much larger than our British species, the average size is 13 to 20mm. Instead of building webs to catch their prey they sneak up on foot and jump from quite a distance, up to 50 times their body length. For vertical surfaces, I noticed my spider always tethers a line of silk before jumping.              

It’s there large forward-facing eyes that interest me for my photography. They have an excellent stereoscopic vision as well as the four eyes at the front they have four smaller eyes on the head. The larger eyes have a narrow field of vision like looking through a telescope, the smaller eyes have a wider perspective.  As the eyes lenses are fixed to the carapace, the retina moves around to look at different objects by small muscles. Because of the amount of visual processing needed for these spiders, they have a large brain in proportion to its body compared to other spiders.

When I am photographing this spider with my macro lens I often see its eyes change colour, when it stares at me darker means I am looking into its retina. Sometimes it washes its eyes like windscreen wipers with its pedipalps, which looks very amusing. When filming the spider will rest tuning its head very quickly looking at everything, following people and birds moving around my garden. If I photograph the spider from above it will look up at me and stare, it makes me smile every time. They use their eyes to hunt their prey and also as visual communication for they’re courting dances, flashing their brightly coloured iridescent bright metallic chelicerae with various front leg waving with there pedipalps.

My spider lives in which appears like a silk purse at the top of a slate house I made. In a darken vivarium the spider will stay hidden so when its sunny I will place its container which has plenty of ventilation on my patio table or in front of a sun lamp we use for our pet Tortoise, then the jumping spider will spend time exploring, watching and hunting. Occasionally these spiders are available to buy in the UK and they are worth it, really cute.