Another entry into the small life category with jumping spiders, yellow sac spiders and pillbugs. I ran into this little fellow after trying to troubleshoot a hard drive problem with one of our Windows machines. Windows would not recognize the hard drive and we had to rescue the data by plugging it into one of our OS X machines. Irritating, but not uncommon as Windows seems to simply forget about external hard drives on occasion. At any rate, upon plugging the hard drive into my Powerbook, this jumping spider (Phidippus) emerged from within the LaCie drive. Jumping spiders have always been my favorite as they have remarkably good vision, possibly even tetrachromatic. They also have amazing physiology and use a combination of muscles and hydraulics to enable jumps by pumping blood into the jumping legs to enable them to cover distances many times their body length.


It being spring, other bugs are coming out in large numbers and the macro lens is getting accordingly more use. Coming up from the basement, I ran into this yellow sac spider (Chiracanthium inclusum). These things always give H the willies and she calls them the yucky waxy yellow spiders. I have read conflicting articles on whether or not they are venomous, but as long as they stay outside, I don’t much care provided they help to keep the mosquito population in control. So, when they appear in the house, rather than killing them, they get a ticket to the garden which would not be a bad place to live.

Finally, I got a few shots of a woodlouse or pill bug (Armadillidium vulgare). These are terrestrial crustaceans common around the world as very successful species. If you want to see a really big one, check out the sea dwelling Bathynomus giganteus.

6 Replies to “Bugs”

  1. Very interesting thanks a lot…i was searching for info on the yellow sac spider…i am so afraid of them and find them often in my house also jumping spiders.

  2. Great images, very interesting that you have an approach to dealing with what is thought to be venomous spider, that involves relocation. I’m sure many people would be interested to know what form of transportation that you employ? Given the nature of your occupation, it would be amiss to risk damaging your working tools!

  3. All spiders are venomous- it’s just a matter of their ability to puncture skin and the affect their venom has (which, unless you live in Australia, is highly unlikely to result in anything more than a mosquito type bite as long as you aren’t allergic). Yellow Sac Spiders though are common household biters.

    1. Not entirely true… There are two families of spiders without venom glands entirely. That said, only a very small percentage of spider families (25 or so out of over 50k) have venom that is toxic to humans, regardless of whether or not their fangs can puncture skin.

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