Saturday, July 14, 2012

Making eye contact

The Salticidae (jumping spiders) family of spiders has, without a doubt, the most character of any spider. They are probably most relatable to humans, in that they are neat (no webs), search for food (hunting), and display feats of athleticism jumping about 40 times their own length with a great degree of accuracy.


Also, their large eyes certainly help lend themselves well to the "cuteness" factor.

But really, which eye should one look at?

Jumping spiders, like most spiders, have four pairs of eyes, giving it a near 360 degree view of movement.  Proportionally, they have the largest eyes of any spider, as they don't have the benefit of tactile threads of a web to sense prey.  It immediately pivots its body to face any movement, facing the large frontal eyes to identify the subject, and will judge its distance accurately for a pounce or a retreat.