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Adult Male Habronattus cognatus Jumping spider | by Thomas Shahan
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Adult Male Habronattus cognatus Jumping spider

Several weeks ago, I photographed an interesting looking female Habronattus at a spot near the Canadian River I frequently visit to look for tiger beetles. She looked quite different than the usual female H. coecatus specimens I can find relatively easily around Oklahoma, so I've been having high hopes I finding a new Habronattus male species every time I head out to the spot.

 

So, my persistence payed off, and after a rather unsuccessful afternoon of stalking the larger tiger beetles near the river, I spotted this little guy (~4mm) as he was watching a large caterpillar wiggle its way across the sandy path. I was exhausted and didn't feel like chasing him around in the sand, so I let him hop in a jar I had with me and took him on home.

 

Although not as flashy as some of the Habronattus species in the U.S., this little male H. cognatus is handsome in his own right - I love those intermittent, mottled scales on his chelicerae. He wasn't in the best cosmetic shape (missing scales/worn) but proved to be quite a lively and active spider that would only slow down when partially covered by the leaves I collected and set out to photograph him on. During the next bug-hunt, I released him at the excact same spot where I found him.

 

If you are interested in the Habronattus genus (you really should be) make sure to take a look at tolweb's entry here: tolweb.org/Habronattus

 

Some of my more recent artwork (including a Phidippus audax woodcut!) is up here: www.flickr.com/panbasket

 

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If any of these images look odd on your monitor (too dark/oversaturated/strange hue) please speak up. I'm editing on a new monitor and am not fully used to it yet.

    

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Taken on May 5, 2010