Move Over Lucas – Meet the Polkadot Jumping Spider

My Great Uncle, Peter, kindly gifted me a new flash unit as a Christmas present. Despite being desperate to use it, we have been so busy with fieldwork and house renovations that now, several months later, I have only just managed to have my first real play.

Opisthoncus polyphemus [POLKADOR JUMPING SPIDER] Tiarua, New Zealand 22.02.2018 Zoomology (5)
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Meeting the Polkadot Jumping Spider

During some downtime on a recent field trip, I noticed a sizable jumping spider making its way across the ceiling of our bedroom. After a quick look, I knew that it was a polkadot jumper (Opisthoncus polyphemus) as Emma and I have seen one before. I took this adorable spider outside for a photoshoot. (Points go to the first person to correctly guess what species of plant we used as a stage!)

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A Few Facts

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  • The Polkadot Jumping Spider is also goes by the names ‘Polkadot Jumper’ or ‘Cyclops Jumping Spider’
  • It is found in New Guinea, Queensland and New South Wales
  • It was first reported in New Zealand in 2000
  • The dark markings around their eyes seem to make their eyes look even bigger
  • In Greek the name Kuklops means “round eye” referring to the large single eye of Cyclops, the one-eyed titan, also known as Polyphemus (our spider’s species name)
  • They roam foilage (or ceilings, too, apparently) in the day searching for arthropods
  • Females roll leaves over on themselves with silk to make retreats to help conceal her eggs

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Meeting Lucas the Jumping Spider

Some time toward the end of 2017, an animation of a jumping spider took the internet by storm. The spider is called Lucas, and the creator of this animation is Joshua Slice. Slice asked his nephew (also called Lucas) to voice the spider. There are several shorts out on YouTube which we have linked to below. Some have said that this animation may just cure a person of arachnophobia!

Lucas is most definitely based on a jumping spider with their furry bodies, large eyes and relatively short legs (compared to some other spiders). If you check out some of the videos, or have already met Lucas then you’ll see that some of his features may have been exaggerated, presumabley increasing his cute-factor to maximum. Check out our polkadot jumper (left) compared with Lucas (right). Pretty cute, huh?

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A Positive Spin

It’s great seeing some positive media out on the internet about our many-legged friends. If you know of any other cool critters with websites or YouTube channels, definitely share them with all of us!

Opisthoncus polyphemus [POLKADOR JUMPING SPIDER] Tiarua, New Zealand 22.02.2018 Zoomology (1)Click to zoom in


References and Further Reading

Arachne Website – Opisthoncus polyphemus (L. Koch, 1867) Cyclops Jumping Spider –http://www.arachne.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=2148
(Retrieved 21 March, 2018)

Lucas the Spider – Youtube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNqRS1gSJFMNPVwye1gyI_g
(Retrieved 21 March, 2018)

Simplemost Website, Meet Lucas, An Adorable Spider Who May Just Cure Your Arachnophobia – https://www.simplemost.com/lucas-spider-joshua-slice/
(Retrieved 21 March, 2018)

Terrain Website, Jumping Spider (Cyclops) Opisthoncus polyphemus –  http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/spiders/jumping-spider-cyclops-opisthoncus-polyphemus.html
(Retrieved 21 March, 2018)

 

17 Comments Add yours

  1. blhphotoblog says:

    To be honest folks I’m not a great fan of spiders, that said this one seems quite err ‘cute’ great photography.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, glad this wee one could win you over, Brian!

      -Emma

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love jumping spiders. We have a lot of zebra jumpers here and they’re just adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just Googled the zebra jumpers and they are gorgeous indeed! We’re going to have to keep our eye out for one when we head back to the UK next month. 😀

      -Emma

      Liked by 1 person

  3. triciasengul says:

    Jumping spiders are some of our favorites. My boys loved these pictures and the little videos of Lucas. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, I’m glad they enjoyed the photos and the videos, Tricia! The first time I watched one of the ‘Lucas’ videos, I was instantly hooked. 🙂

      -Emma

      Like

  4. Fotohabitate says:

    I love it! Brilliant pics and the videos about Lucas made me laughed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Simone! Lucas had us in stitches, too. 😀 I hope they make more Lucas videos!

      -Emma

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love jumping spiders. I nearly caught an iridescent one once…but it escaped! I heard those are rare and I’m disappointed. 😦 Lucas is very cute and I love the idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, wow! That would have been so cool to see, Crystal! I’m sure another opportunity will come around soon. (That’s what we tell ourselves anyways, haha. 🙂 ) When it does, we’ll look forward to seeing the photos on your blog! 😀

      -Emma

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sarasmerdon says:

    Adorable!! And amazing blue stage!!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sara! I know, right?! ❤ The blue stage is pretty cool. Do you want to hazard a guess as to the plant? Hint: It is a very weedy exotic climber from the family Convolvulaceae. 😀

      -Emma

      Like

  7. Pam says:

    So cute! I’ve always liked jumping spiders

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Salticids are a very charismatic family of spiders, aren’t they? I think it must be those enormous eyes! 😀

      -Emma

      Like

  8. kutukamus says:

    That is one good looking little cutie (or ‘jumpie’, for that matter 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoomology says:

      Haha, we agree! Thank you, Kutukamus. 🙂

      -Emma

      Like

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