Monday, March 26, 2012

Right Out of Jack Arnold

Updated 03/30/12
Is it a Tarantula? A Goliath Bird Eating Spider? And we need to send young Clint Eastwood up in a plane with napalm?

What a beast eh?

But no, it's a jumping spider. Genus Phidippus and actually only around a half an inch from end to end. I spotted it from the ground on the side of the house. It took a step ladder and the camera at arms length even then to get these 2 pictures. And I shot maybe 30.  I love those little 'horns' and the metallic green mandibles. I just wish they showed a little better. To Bugguide for a species ID.

UPDATED 03/30/12
BugGuide is still  hedging its bets but the leaning seems to be toward Phidippus otiosus. Looking at other specimens there I can see the difficulty. There are barely a couple that actually look alike. Its hugely variable. The name intrigues me though. P. otiosus. Otiose in which sense?  Indolent? Or  serving no practical purpose? Either way seem rather judgemental.

Again there were lots of damsels around last week. The second here is a newly hatched, teneral, Fragile Forktail. Its by far the commonest in the yard. Not so much over the weekend though as the whole 2 days was pretty steady rain. Sun all week, rain all weekend, and back to work and sun again today.

Butterflies are increasing too. This is a Clouded Sulfur Colias philodice

This little guy isn't IDed yet but I just liked the picture. The way he appears to be hanging on for grim death to the end of that iris leaf.

UPDATE. Atalantycha bilineata Two-Lined Leather Wing

And yes it is pollen season again. Everything I'm photographing right now has some degree of dusting. 

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