My Digital Photography of
Phidippus audax Jumping Spiders
Volume 3: 2010 - (Spiders #46 -)
The following jumping spiders, likely all of the species Phidippus audax, were photographed in the Metro-Detroit area. Photographs are sorted so that most recent photos are at the top of the page.
Many more spider photographs are available for your enjoyment---Click here for the main directory of spider photos.
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Wow, I can't believe it's been over 4 years since I've photographed a Phidippus audax. These were taken July 27, 2016. This is a special, female spider, near the end of her life, that I've been caring for about 10 months. I didn't want to forget about her, so I figured I better take some photos. Brian brought her over last September or October after finding her weak and trapped in the kitchen sink. I wasn't sure she would make it, but I revived her and figured I'd keep her through the winter. She seemed quite old already when I got her, and had the familiar white hair tufts and white abdomen markings of an old spider. Unfortunately, by spring, she was no longer eating live food, and I had to feed her freshly dead crickets left by the entrance to her resting sac, which were greatly appreciated and enjoyed for 12-15 hours at a time. For this reason, she could not be released. I hoped to come across a male to at least mate her, but the only P. audax I found this year was in early spring and was a female. She doesn't come out much, and has very bad footing. She no longer even attempts jumping. Therefore, I had to be creative in regard to the background material to place her on. She would have certainly fallen off the petals of any flower. I decided on Darwin's urn, which I've never used for any photographs before. The glaze texture is rough enough to give some grip, and the iridescent colors go well with her chelicerae. Still, she hung out mostly on the top and carefully explored a bit of the side. These aren't my best spider photos, but I didn't want to bother this poor old spider any more.
This is the first jumper I've found in 2012. He was on the wall in the backyard. I photographed him on May 17, 2012, then released him. They are not my best photographs, but I wanted to document him in case he was found again. He was a very timid spider, which made the photo shoot difficult because he wouldn't stay where I put him, like some of my other jumping spider subjects.
Brian found this spider at my old house. I photographed it and released it on October 11, 2011. It was very difficult to get good photographs because it would not stay still. It kept crawling to the edge of a petal and jumping off.
I found this spider inside of the outdoor sink in the backyard. While I was getting her ready for the pictures, I accidentally dropped her in the middle of the cosmos flower, covering her with pollen. Not exactly what I intended, but it did make for some rather colorful photos, with all the yellow speckles on her. She was photographed and released on October 11, 2011. She was very timid and didn't move much after being placed on the cosmos---she hid behind the petal upside down for the first couple photos until I was able to coax her out.
I found this spider on the back wall of the house while I was in the middle of releasing a couple of last year's babies. I photographed her on June 11, 2011, then released her back outside on the wall.
This spider was found inside my house in May 2011. Beatrice almost ate him but I got there just in time. He was photographed on June 5, 2011, then released outside.
These spiders were all babies from Spider #47. I only raised six to adulthood and one died. Click here to see photos of all the babies shortly after emergence. The following photos were taken on June 5, 2011, after they were nearly a year old.
"Left Front Leg Lost" (Spider #53)
This spider lost her leg early in life, but it completely regenerated. For her photo session, she was very timid and kept hiding around the corners. She also made a "triple sac" on 11-18-10.
"Friendly" (Spider #52)
This male was very fast, but stayed on the wood for his photo session. He got his name because I was going to release him as a baby, but he refused to leave because he was so friendly.
"Friendly 2" (Spider #51)
This male was also very fast, but stayed on the wood for his photo session. He loved to jump off one peak to another. He made a triple sac on 11-8-10.
"Triple Sac 2" (Spider #50)
This female was docile and great for her photo shoot. Of course, she had been making "triple sacs" since she was a baby, which is why I named her that. I love that she had orange markings but all her siblings were white.
"Suspendo-spider" (Spider #49)
This guy got his name because as a baby, he loved to just hang by a thread and chill out. He was the only spider that did this. He was so fast for his photo shoot that I barely got any photos.
I caught this spider back in June but didn't have a chance to photograph it until July 7, 2010. The thing that is unusual about this spider is that it spins a lot of silk. Its entire cage was full of webbing within a week. I have never seen one of these jumpers make so much webbing before. Usually, they just make a resting sac and have a few threads going around the cage. This was just crazy though. I had to clear it out in order to clean the cage of dead insects, but she re-spun everything again. On August 2, I attempted to let her go. I put her outside and left her cage opened up wide. On August 4, I let spiders #45 and #47 go in this manner. I had changed my mind about spider #45 and went to go retrieve her after only a few hours had passed, but she was gone. I thought all the spiders had gone on their way. I came back in and started cleaning their cages. To my surprise, out jumped spider #48 from her sac (I didn't see her in there because the sac is so large and I figured after two days, she would surely be gone). So I decided to keep her after all. I would like to compare her spinnerettes with another jumper because I am wondering why her silk is so plentiful and thick.
In September, I mated her with Spider #46, which was a big mistake. She acted like everything was fine when he was displaying to her outside of her cage. She had two live crickets to eat. Yet, somehow, she killed him and never even laid any eggs. I was very sad to lose that sweet little guy and not even get any babies in exchange for his life.
I kept her throughout the winter and planned to release her in the spring, but she died on March 29, 2011.
I thought this spider was a male because of the shape of its abdomen, but it created an egg sac shortly after I found it, so I knew it must be female. Apparently, she had already mated because a few weeks later, to my surprise, were over 50 baby spiders! These photographs were taken on July 7, 2010. I let her go on August 4, 2010. At the end of the second row of photographs is an enlargement of the spider's leg joint that I have never seen so close up before.
This adorable little male was found in early June and photographed on June 19, 2010. He was very fast and just wanted to display, as if the camera were a female.
From August 21-23, 2010, he courted hand-raised female #1 once she was about a year old. I thought everything went well and figured they had mated with how much time they spent together. When I found them separated on the 24th, I decided to put him back in his own cage so he wouldn't be killed. Sadly, this female never did lay any eggs from him.
In early September, I decided to try mating him with Spider #48, but this was a mistake. After only a day with her, I found him dead. She had two crickets to eat and chose to bite him instead. I was very sad to lose him---even though I only had him for a few months, I became very attached. He was such a cutie. I wish I had taken more photos of him.
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