All About Mopsus mormon - Green Jumping Spider Eating a Small Praying Mantis - Australia
Taken yesterday. (5/June/07). This information is well worth reading, especially THE EYES
THE GREEN JUMPING SPIDER
Also known as the Clown Spider and Northern Green Jumping Spider. It is a mormon!! lol. Its species Name is “Mopsus mormon”.
Body length: female: 16 mm male: 12 mm
Habitat: Usually found on green leaves in the wetter regions of coastal NSW and Queensland
Toxicity: Uncertain; the venom tends to cause painful bites in humans; ulceration at bite sites is possible but probably rare
This is the largest jumping spider in Australia. The most important characteristics of the female of this species are its variable but generally leaf green colour, the distinctive white patch around the eyes, and the two black lines along the dorsal abdomen. The male has a prominent fringe of white hairs on each side of the eye pattern. The front pair of big eyes cover half of its dark face, below are the very large fangs, and the legs are green to dark red in colour. The one I have in this photo is a female. Here is a photo of the male and around its head there is the hairy white clown:- www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=291855469&context=se...
When the jumping spiders move or jump, they always leave a safety line of silk behind. If the jump fails the spiders can crawl back to its original position and this prevents them from falling down.
Here is how someone described the nest:- “The Green Jumping Spiders like to hunt and build nest among long sword shape leaves. We found this nest in early summer, and noticed a interesting feature. A male and a female lived together in this nest. There were three compartments, male and female lived in different compartments. The middle compartment was the egg sac. The male was in the top and the female in the bottom compartment. Each compartment was like a tunnel, with opening at both ends. We also found another Green Jumping Spider nest near by. This nest, as most other jumping spider nests we found, was only the female with her egg sac, not male was found.”
THE AMAZING EYES!! TRULY AMAZING EYES OF THE MOPSUS MORMON!
Daylight hunters with multi-purpose vision.
Jumping spiders are most active during the day. They have excellent vision which they use to hunt prey and recognise mates and enemies. Jumping spiders can leap more than 20 times their own body length, propelled by their back legs. However, when pouncing on their prey, they make shorter, more accurate leaps.
When hunting, the eyes of jumping spiders see in three different ways, using THREE different sets of eyes:
* The spider first senses movement of distant prey with the side eyes (PLE), which provide a blurry wide-angle image.
* Once movement is detected, the spider turns in that direction and locks onto the moving prey with the large, middle front eyes (AME). These eyes provide a clear, focussed telephoto image, probably in colour. The spider can track moving prey both by body movements and by using muscles to internally swivel the elongated eye capsules so that the light sensitive retina of each eye remains locked on the prey.
* While the spider stalks closer, it uses the side front eyes (ALE) judge the distance to the prey. When it judges the prey to be close enough (about 2 - 3 cm), the spider leaps.
What an astonishing creature!!