Spider Eyes

I've been doing quite a bit of cleanup in the garden the last week or so, and much of that work involved pulling leftover leaf clutter out from under some plants. (Some was left as mulch intentionally over the winter, and some is from the oak tree that drops leaves until early spring it seems.) I've noticed so many different types of spiders under there, what are categorized as "hunting spiders" because they don't build webs to catch prey.

I noticed one interesting one the other day on the Pachypodium -- which I've been keeping on the porch until I figure out exactly where I want it to go.


It somehow caught a moth, which must be what made me notice it as I walked by:

It's no Lucas the Spider, but it's got some character!

Those eyes... have you ever wondered why they have so many? It seems that while the central pair of eyes are the ones that see the most detail, the smaller pairs provide motion detection. At least one study suggests that one pair of small eyes in particular gives the ability to detect when something is moving toward them:
A (2012) study finds that while the center, or principal, pair of eyes is good at picking out details, one of the side pairs is crucial for warning spiders when something is coming their way.
This "looming response" is the equivalent of a human ducking and covering when a baseball flies toward his or her face. But humans rely on just one pair of eyes to both avoid the baseball and see the details of its stitching. Jumping spiders use four eyes for the same tasks.

You can read more about that here.

I'm just going to keep my own two eyes (and maybe camera) open for more types of these spiders!

If you're not a spider person, at least let this fact calm you somewhat:
Most spiders are harmless to people and are incapable of biting, even when coaxed. 
I'm not sure who exactly is coaxing spiders into biting them,  but read more from the University of Minnesota about spiders found in and around the home here.


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chavliness  – (May 21, 2018 at 7:17 PM)  

I admire your observations of nature and the good lens of your camera, although personally I prefer the deer and woodchuck to the masters of cobwebs. The make my skin crawl even without webs.

outlawgardener  – (May 24, 2018 at 9:05 AM)  

You find the most interesting wildlife in your garden! Your spider certainly does have personality. Thanks for the introduction to Lucas the Spider.

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