THE WARM FUZZIES

Sweater weather is upon us once again, so it’s time to introduce you to a tiny fuzzy creature to warm your soul and make you go ✨💖💖AWWWWWWW💖💖✨

Also, I feel like this tiny fuzzy creature should have legs. LOTS of legs. At least 7.

So, meet the

✨💖💖AWWWWWWW💖💖✨

The Mustache Spider (Phidippus mystaceus) is a type of Jumping Spider native to the southern US. Like all Jumping Spiders, they have four pairs of kind and loving eyes, excellent and forgiving vision, and soft, strokeable fur covering their tiny adorable bodies. (Though tragically, since the larger females reach a maximum length of about 1 cm, they are too small to snuggle.)

A TRAGEDY BEYOND COMPARE.

The Mustache Spider gets its name from the fancy facewear that female spiders sport. (Say that five times fast.)

It’s not known why exactly these spiders go in for a lovely fashionable pencil mustache, but some theories include that it’s because it’s “simply smashing” or “absolutely delightful” or “almost inutterable fancy”. (My theories. These are my theories.) Sadly, the male Mustache Spiders do lack this distinguished facewear, though they still have those tufts of fur that kind of look like kitty ears.

Like all Jumping Spiders, the Mustache Spider is an adaptable ambush predator that will hunt anything it can get the drop on. It stalks its prey (like a cat) and wiggles its tiny fluffy butt (like a cat) just before it pounces many times the length of its own body, pinning its helpless victim (like a cat) and injecting a paralyzing venom that liquefies the prey’s insides, which it slurps up with its hollow fangs. (L-like a cat?)

This being said, the Mustache Spider is completely harmless to humans. (Though they would ABSOLUTELY hurt a fly.) In fact, Mustache Spiders are often curious about humans! Like all Jumping Spiders, Mustache Spiders are intelligent enough to solve puzzles, watch nature videos, and observe you observing them for no other reason than they seem to think humans are neat. Who knows, maybe they think we’re as adorable as we think they are.

Wouldn’t that be something.

IMAGE SOURCES

1. Thomas Shahan, Wikimedia Commons

2. Opoterser, Wikimedia Commons

3. Thomas Shahan, Wikimedia Commons

#arthropod #biology #education #humor