Sunday, June 6, 2010
This beautiful little jumping spider is Hentzia mitrata < I am unable to find a common name for it, but I think it should be called Orange-headed jumping spider. Just look at that bright copper colored forehead. This one is an adult male, they do not get very large and will only reach about 2 to 3 mm when full grown. This super tiny size makes them difficult to locate on vegetation sometimes.
Jumping spiders are completely harmless to humans, most cannot bite at all, and those can, won't unless they are being terribly molested. A friend of mine assured me they are safe to handle and even fun to use for programs with children. Because they are common it is a spider children can identify with....and they will "yo-yo' on a string made from silk as they dangle from your hand. I have not yet tried this with a school group, but I definitely plan to. Thanks Mark for the info and for sharing your love of spiders with me.
These spiders, while being perfectly harmless, can be intimidating with their habit of "jumping" quite rapidly from object to object, sometimes even jumping at you. This is all in the name of escape for them, they are merely trying to avoid being seen, captured or "yo-yo'd"