Little Wonder

In this image, a diminutive jumping spider (member of the family Salticidae — possible member of subfamily Dendryphantinae) explores the territory of a counter in my apartment.

These are curious little beasties — and highly evolved. They possess both book lungs and tracheal organs for breathing. They may navigate almost any terrain — including glass — due to the tiny hairs on the ends of their legs. Their median eyes are large and capable of great sensitivity across a wide spectrum.

The Wikipedia entry on Salticidae notes — without citation — that they are also inquisitive creatures. This appears to be accurate. They behave quite differently than other spiders. They pause to study new phenomena rather than simply lighting the (hemolymph) afterburners and running for cover.

(If you meet one, give it a pass, would you? They’re just slightly larger than the tip of a sharpened pencil and thus only of danger to insects.)


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  1. He looks like he’s wearing sunglasses. Maybe he wanted to look cool for the photo.