When I check my blog feed from time to time, I do see that I still receive visitors, which makes me feel bad that I haven’t had the opportunity to post for so long. Truth is, these past two months since I have returned from Panama have been the busiest I can ever remember, and (unfortunately) very little of it has to do with spiders.
Today has been the first day I’ve actually had time to write something besides computer code and a novel I’ve been struggling to finish–mostly because I need a break from HTML and CSS and I’m at an all weekend swim meet with noise levels that aren’t very conducive to the intense concentration required for creative writing.
The only recent spider news has come from a great entomologist out in Oklahoma, Philip K. Morton, who was nice enough to collect some Bagheera prosper, a supposedly close relative of Bagheera kiplingi, that lives in the southern central United States. He sent me more than 20 samples, which I have been keeping on a steady diet of fruit flies, so obviously they aren’t very vegetarian (if at all). I can’t really make many conclusions from my experience with B. prosper, though, because even B. kiplingi can be kept alive on fruit flies for several weeks to months. The only way I can truly be sure that B. prosper does not exhibit any vegetarian tendencies is through stable isotope analysis, which I will discuss in another post.
Dr. Morton’s shipment brought back memories of my own journey to Oklahoma and Texas, where I collected B. prosper and several other species of jumping spider myself. Most of my collections came from around Lakes Texoma and Tawakoni, and it seemed I could find these little salticids just about everywhere.
There weren’t just B. prosper and E. militaris that I found, either. Here are a couple more of my favorites:
Since I’ve been back in the United States, aside from my new Bagheera prosper collection, most of my arthropod contact had been with my hermit crabs.
Just look at them go!