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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

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Fence Post Jumper (Marpissa muscosa)

Taxonomy
Kingdom:Phylum:Class:Order:Family:Genus:Species:
AnimaliaArthropodaArachnidaAraneaeSalticidaeMarpissaM. muscosa


In close ups the Fence Post Jumper is a quite beautiful creature. Of course you usually look at it from a distance in which case you overlook how spectacular it is. The grey and brown colours and the inconspicuous pattern on the body and legs are a perfect camouflage. The male is 6 to 8 millimeters long, the female 8 to 11 millimeters. The size of the female makes it the biggest jumping spider in Western-Europe. The nest is constructed under loose bark of trees. Several females ususlly make nests close together without getting into conflicts with the neighbours. In one case 100 nests were found very close to one another. Apparently Fence Post Jumpers have a social structure, for there is a hierarchy. Weaker animals will greet the more powerful ones and then retreat. This jumping spider is capable of jumping about 25 centimeters in one jump. Adults of both sexes can be spotted from April to September, whlie females most of the year.



The male is in the bottom 3 pictures, the female is in all other pictures.
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