Green Jumping Spiders (Mopsus mormon)
The Wet Tropics favourite Salticidae is the Green Jumping spider aka Mopsus mormon. Spend some time in any backyard and you are likely to see these fantastically charismatic spiders. Right now it seems that they may be in the peak of their season, as I have seen large numbers of these both on my Let’s Go Buggin tours in the Cairns Botanic Gardens and also just out and about in my backyard and in some of my other ‘go-to’ locations.
Very curious by nature, and quite large by jumping spider standards, the Mopsus mormon male, sports a gorilla-like face, completely black, with a black mohawk, and white sideburns, which as far as my expertise goes, is perhaps the only species that has developed this very distinct style. Their very large forward-facing eyes, help make portrait images of this spider such a joy to capture, as they will often look directly into the lens of the camera.
Mopsus mormon males all photographed on Let’s Go Buggin Tours in the Cairns Botanic Gardens.
The female of the species, doesn’t have the black face and punk hair-do, however is often a more vivid green colour. She too has large eyes and a curious nature.
I somehow seem to find the females with meals more often than I find males, I’m not sure if this is a direct reflection of what is happening in the wild. Perhaps the females need more food than the males, perhaps the males are busy looking for females. In anycase they make for an interesting photograph if you can see one with a meal in their clutches.
Mopsus mormon females all photographed on Let’s Go Buggin Tours in the Cairns Botanic Gardens. The first has captured a Long-jawed Spider and the last has captured a fly.