a french garden

Jumping spiders!

29 Comments

I think most of you will have seen the great video by Jürgen Otto’s of the jumping spider Maratus speciosus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_yYC5r8xMI.  It is coming up on six million views now.  I really like some of the other ones that are set to music like the YMCA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYIUFEQeh3g which always makes me laugh.

However, I had never expected to see a jumping spider waving its legs at me in real life.  Especially not on the dining room table.

saitis-barbipes-2

I would like to point out here that it is only 5mm. and apart from scuttling very rapidly – it can jump.

saitis-barbipes-1

Even a bad photograph is better than none as I am not sure whether I would have believed it myself since the famous Maratus spider is a native of Australia.

Working back with the help of Wiki I found out that there is a large family of Salicidae or Jumping spiders and there are members of this family present in Europe.  My spider bears a striking resemblance to Saitis-barbipes which is present in France.

I feel rather favoured that he waved his fluffy orange legs at me before skilfully disappearing under the books and papers on the table.

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Author: afrenchgarden

Born in Scotland I have lived in England, Iran, USA and Greece. The house and land was bought twelve years ago in fulfilment of the dream of living in France that my Francophile husband nurtured. We had spent frequent holidays in France touring the more northerly parts and enjoying the food, scenery, architecture and of course gardens. However, we felt that to retire in France and enjoy a more clement climate than we currently had in Aberdeen we would need to find somewhere south of the river Loire but not too south to make returning to visit the UK onerous. The year 2000 saw us buying our house and setting it up to receive us and the family on holidays. The garden was more a field and we were helped by my son to remove the fencing that had separated the previous owners’ goats, sheep and chickens. We did inherit some lovely old trees and decided to plant more fruit trees that would survive and mature with the minimum of care until we took up permanent residence. The move took place in 2006 and the love hate relation with the “garden” started. There was so much to do in the house that there was little energy left for the hard tasks in the garden. It was very much a slow process and a steep learning curve. Expenditures have been kept to a minimum. The majority of the plants have been cuttings and I try to gather seeds wherever I can. The fruit trees have all been bought but we have tender hearts and cannot resist the little unloved shrub at a discount price and take it as a matter of honour to nurse it back to health. This year I have launched my Blog hoping to reach out to other gardeners in other countries. My aim is to make a garden for people to enjoy, providing shady and sunny spots with plants that enjoy living in this area with its limestone based subsoil and low rainfall in a warm summer. Exchanging ideas and exploring mutual problems will enrich my experience trying to form my French garden.

29 thoughts on “Jumping spiders!

  1. I had not seen those videos; thanks.

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  2. Great photos, and well found…but I’m glad it’s the other side of La Manche …at least for now!
    BW
    Julian

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  3. Perhaps you should open a zoo. You seem to be collecting critters of all sorts.

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  4. I’ve never seen one in person, but I’d like to.

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  5. I’m not sure but I think I’ve seen them here too; I hadn’t thought how strange it was to see a spider jump!

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  6. I was bitten by a jumping spider when I was about 7. I screamed not because it really hurt but because I was so surprised. I think it jumped on me, I tried to flick it away and that’s when it bit me. 😀

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    • That could be a great conversation starter, “I remember the time…” Just joking, but it can’t have happened to too many people unless they are the really outdoorsy type. But it is a bit tough for a little girl. Has it left you with a dislike of spiders? My particular gripe against spiders was that they had at least four too many legs. Amelia

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  7. Very good photos.You have a good camera.
    I’ve never seen these spiders before;

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  8. What a fun encounter! I’m not generally a spider fan but would like to meet this one. You did well to get a photo of such a small and jumpy creature.

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    • I used to run a mile when I saw a spider but I feel different about them now. That video has changed my idea of spiders but I did not realise they were so small. I do not know how he managed to take such a sharp video. Close up the colours are beautiful and they look quite velvety. Mine was cute too but I was starting to wonder if I had lost it. Orange striped spiders? Amelia

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  9. Not seen this one around here…. or not noticed?…..we have the far more common Zebra Spider…. same shape head end… longer body…. to me, they look like little tractors with their headlights [the large eyes] so close together. The Zetor tractor has the same profile radiator!
    Great pix….

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  10. I wonder if these jumping spiders are related to the camel spiders in the middle east.

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    • Actually, they are not too closely linked and are not true spiders. These jumping spiders belong to the order Araneae and the camel spiders belong in another order the Solifugae. It is always handy to see how they are classified as sometimes the same classifications result in similar looking individuals from the exterior and sometimes the reverse. The classification gives us the best idea of how closely they are related in evolutionary terms. Amelia

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  11. I had no idea that they could wave or jump. Amazing little things

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