Mopsus mormon mummy

Green jumping spider with egg sac
Green jumping spider with egg sac

I’m sorry – I couldn’t resist the alliterative title although I know that it will baffle a high percentage of my readers. I had better explain.

Mopsus mormon is the Latin scientific name of one of our most attractive jumping spiders (Salticidae). The one I found yesterday, lurking in a silken retreat in my house, was a female guarding her egg-sac, a mother-to-be if not already a mother dozens of times over (it’s not hard to achieve that distinction if you have babies by the dozen).

spider web on window frame
The retreat before I teased it apart

When I saw the retreat, in the angle between a window frame and the wall, I didn’t know what kind of spider might have made it. All that I could see was a dark blur, but delicately peeling back the top layer of silk revealed its inhabitant and her responsibility.

The lumpiness of the eggs suggests that a happy event is not too far away but child welfare is not a concern: that (louvre) window is always partially open, small wildlife is free to come and go, and I’m sure most of the spiderlings will disperse into the garden.

Mopsus mormon, incidentally, is a species for which I have a special affection, just because a male was the subject of one of the first spider photos I was really happy with. From there, a few more pleasing shots of butterflies and other insects encouraged me to sign up to Flickr to submit images to the Encyclopedia of Life project. That was back in 2009, a long time ago in terms of how much I have learned about our local wildlife by wandering around with a camera and then researching whatever it was that I had photographed. This blog, a natural extension of the same process, followed in 2011.

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