First Habronattus

HCambridgeiIMGP8685As usual, jumping spiders (Salticidae) are foremost in my sampling plans for this trip to Jalisco, Mexico. The amazing genus Habronattus, whose males dance and sing bedecked in amazing plumes and spikes and colours, is one of the big goals. At Puerto Vallarta we found several species: H. cambridgei, H. mexicanus, and H. contingens. These are all good to get, though none of them is rare or hard to find. H. mexicanus and H. contingens, while handsome, did not make my heart leap when I first found them, because each one is very closely related (and thus very much like) species from Canada. H. cambridgei, on the other hand, is stunning: face of many fine dark glistening metallic pink-green hairs, and femora of the first two pairs of legs blue-white.

But what is most amazing is its courtship. The male’s underside is hardened, and he does a slam dance, hitting his whole body against the ground. Anything to impress.

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