Macro Video of an Adult Male Phidippus mystaceus Jumping Spider

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This macro video of an adult male Phidippus mystaceus Jumping Spider is really interesting. He does have an inordinate fondness for jumping onto the camera lens, though! Jumping spiders are my favorite types, although they do awaken my inner phobia at times.

Video: Thomas Shahan [Thomas Shahan's photostream]

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Eeeeee, so cute! I love these guys. Wotta face.

I like jumping spiders in general. They are so fearless.

By Luna_the_cat (not verified) on 19 Oct 2009 #permalink

That's a really cute video! Jumping spider are really cool little critters. My problem with invertebrates isn't really their appearance, but when they like to *poink* AHHH!! GEDDITOFF!!! GEDDITOFF!!!

By Left_Wing_Fox (not verified) on 19 Oct 2009 #permalink

Nice. I wonder if it is jumping onto the lens to defend its territory from its own reflection.

my favorite spiders are definitely the jumping spiders. their behavior and visual system are truly amazing and have been the subject of many scientific studies. not only that, but they are cute -- for a spider!

As a child that always chased after insects and arthropods, jumping spiders were my favorite. And then I went to a lecture in college about portia's...

The visual system for most members of the family Salticidae (from the Latin "to jump") is tetrachromatic, with the spider's retina containing four types of high-intensity light receptors (cones)... human eyes are trichromatic (as are those of some of the females of most species of New World monkeys, and both male and female howler monkeys, and possibly some marsupials)... most other mammals are dichromatic (in humans corresponding to color blindness)... so the jumping spiders may be able see wavelengths beyond those of a typical human's eyesight, and may be able to distinguish colors that to a human are identical.

The importance of this appears to primarily be for courtship where the males have colored or iridescent hairs, fringes on their front legs, and other strange structures which are displayed with complex vibrations and zigzag movements in a kind of "dance".

Our friend above is a male...

what did you shoot this with?

Well-chosen music. I fear spiders, but being able to watch them behind glass is a great pleasure. Jumpers are my favorite.


I have handled tens of thousands of spiders over 40 years of studying them as a hobby. Of those, I have seen four bite me. I never felt the bites and suffered no harm. I have even handled Black Widows and Brown Recluses although I don't recommend it for most people. The Jumping Spiders seem to be the favorites of nearly all spider enthusiasts. Spiders can be interesting but Jumpers have personality and show intelligence.
My four-year old daughter once taught a Phidippus to jump from her hand to a tree and return. She used no reward system so I concluded that the spider was doing that simply because it enjoyed playing.

Thankyou, my phobia has been calmed by this. Its the first time I've looked at a spider and felt like he was just wondering around having fun lol instead of hatching a sinister plot against me, thanks!

Credit where credit is due: That video is the work of Thomas Shahan, who may be taking the best macro stuff of small insects and spiders of anyone. This video is amazing, but many of his photos of jumping spiders, robber flies, and other Lilliputian critters is beyond incredible.

See some of his work here:

Jim McCormac