Jumping spider feeding on a cicada
Location: cheney kansas
June 29, 2011 11:52 pm
Was mowing one day and saw a cicada drying it’s wings on a Walnut tree.
I returned a couple hours later to check up on the cicada and found a jumping spider feeding on the cicada.
Signature: Chris Harris
We are very impressed with both your photograph and what it documents. We believe the spider is most likely a Bold Jumper, Phidippus audax, and based on the information on BugGuide, it is a highly variable species, though BugGuide does indicate: “The majority of audax specimens are black with three white spots.” There are also some excellent images and information on this Cirrus Image website. Alas, your photos do not provide a clear dorsal view of the abdomen, so only one white spot is visible. We have so much room to speculate upon how this Bold Jumper managed to capture a Cicada many times its size. We wish you hadn’t cropped the photo. It appears that this might be a newly metamorphosed Cicada. The Cicada is lighter in color when it first metamorphoses. Also, insects are much more vulnerable immediately following molting and the metamorphosis process. The exoskeleton will not have properly hardened immediately after metamorphosis and the Cicada is incapable of flying until after its wings and exoskeleton harden. That would be the window of opportunity for a proficient hunter like the Bold Jumper to tackle a significantly larger prey than it would normally be able to take. Thanks for sending us your photos.