Archive for the ‘sexual dimorphism’ category

The majestic pair!

30 September 2009

A few posts ago, I had waxed poetically about a female spider that had visited my desk. When I posted on SpiderIndia to get her name, address and phone number, I was rudely informed by Janaki Turaga and Dr Amit Chakraborthy that what I had seen was the male!

Vikram Gupchup, who met the lady while I met the gent!

Vikram Gupchup, who met the lady while I met the gent!

Telamonia dimidiata , or the ‘Two-striped Jumping Spider’ as it is commonly called, is a Salticid or jumping spider. As you could make out from my rhyme, the spider jumped everywhere.

This spider has been wrongly featured in an internet hoax where it is supposed to be lurking under American toilet seats, bite you and then you stumble off and die – Ha, what cock & bull about this lovely harmless spider which is not recorded to have ever hurt anybody.

This spider shows sexual dimorphism – the male and female do not resemble each other and could each be mistaken for a separate species.

The gentleman we have already met on my blog.

I would now like you to meet the lady!

See Madame Telamonia here from this post by Vikram Gupchup.

The lustrous eyes of the sensous lady!

The lustrous eyes of the sensous lady! (Photo - Vikram Gupchup)

A different spider I would have thought, if I didn't know better!

A different spider I would have thought, if I didn't know better! (Photo - Vikram Gupchup)

The Telamonias nest in between leaves. Janaki Turaga tells us of her fascinating encounter in the forests of Andhra Pradesh in 2007.

Here are Telamonia dimidiata Male and Female. They were building their nest in the monsoon. The female is sitting on their (under-construction) nest web.

As I approached, the male fended off  the threat – my camera and was making his way back to the nest web and his lady. It seemed to me that he was guarding the nest and had successfully driven off  the threat-my camera and me.

Just to show of his virility, he jumped on my camera and then on me and jumped right back on another leaf – where I was able to photograph him and this is that shot.

The male Telamona, similar to the one in my poetic post! (Photo - Janaki Turaga)

The male Telamonia, similar to the one in my poetic post! (Photo - Janaki Turaga)

The nest web leaf was at a much higher level. Actually I had disturbed these two while I was photographing some insects . Anyway, this guy jumped down on me and chased me out, and climbed up the hibiscus plant and joined his lady right up on the leaf.

His lady love was none too pleased to meet my camera! But here is the shot!
The female’s eyes were incredible and you can see one of her fangs: this photo was really up close and personal!
The female defends! (Photo - Janaki Turaga)

The female defends! (Photo - Janaki Turaga)

Exactly two years later now in 2009 I wonder whether I had disturbed a courting or mating activity. But the female was already working on the nest.

I am not very clear as to the parental division of labour  in this species. Does the female spin the nest web before mating? To my mind back then it appeared that both the male and female were nesting together and the male had warded off an attack on them!”

I am sure that this lady would have driven me to even more sublime rhyme, just look at her lustrous black eyes! And golden-green cuticle.

A gorgeous babe. Definitely qualifies for an Angelina IMHO!


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