Talavera minuta (Banks, 1895) - jumping spider
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The Bee Hummingbird, a Cuban endemic, is at 5 centimeters (2.0") the smallest bird in the world. The jumping spider Talavera minuta at 2 millimeters could easily ride on the back of the hummingbird with four dozen or so of its close friends. In the field I am continually surprised by the minute size of some salticids. Their small size contributes, I think, to the sense of wonder many aficionados express about these spiders. Although humans have no problem seeing smaller objects, when we look at T. minuta we can make out the details of shapes and of colors. We can also watch the spider leap on its prey and wave its tiny palps. At a place close to the limits of where we can still comfortably resolve details, this lilliputian organism affirms life's diversity and evokes our wonder. Two researchers studying the nests of Phidippus johnsoni report finding the nest of T. minuta, including its tiny occupant, inside the nest of its larger relative. Jackson and Griswold, 1979
June / adult female, foraging / oak leaf litter - Middlesex Co., MA
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