A New Jumping Spider

I met a new spider today–Phidippus whitmani. This one appears not to have a common name, though a related species is known as the red velvet jumping spider.

Yesterday, I noted that the red-spotted newt uses warning colouration to tell predators it is toxic. This jumping spider uses the same sort of colouration, but in this case, the warning is a lie.

Like other members of its genus, this spider protects itself by pretending to be a velvet ant with a powerful sting. Unfortunately for this spider, who had to put up with my attentions, I wasn’t fooled, and instead was quite taken by his fuzzy red velvet.