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Adult Male Tutelina elegans Jumping Spider Eating a Red Mite

While attempting to photograph a new (for me at least - Tutelina harti) salticid species, I noticed this little (5mm) Tutelina elegans male crawling up my leg hair. As excited as I was about the T. harti, I popped him back in his jar (with a fruit fly that had landed on his leaf) because this T. elegans was the first male I had seen in two years.


I had forgotten what a pain these energetic little jumpers can be to photograph (check out a male wildly signaling with his front legs here) and spent a bit trying to get a good photograph of the beautiful tufts of hair atop his cephalothorax. He eventually wandered to the top of a round sandly colored rock and I got down low to get some blue sky in the background. Not long after I started shooting from this angle, he lunged forward and then popped back into frame with a tiny red mite secured in his fangs which was already busting juices from its abdomen.


The image above is an extreme crop (resulting in the lack of sharpness - this is 1800 out of 3872 pixels) from a single image taken at f/11 with my new 10 dollar 50mm prime reversed on extension tubes.


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Taken on June 5, 2010