Saturday, 4 September 2010

A Colourful Jumping Spider - Siler semiglaucus

This colourful metallic spider was spotted by me on an Ixora plant while I was looking for something interesting to do while waiting for a pupa to hatch! Of course I couldn't identify it so I shot it off to the experts at the Spiderindia group. Although the spider was identified to Genus level as a Siler species, it is apparently undescribed from India so far! 
From my trawling on the internet, this actually appears to be a Siler semiglaucus, originally described in 1901 and having a range from South-East Asia to Malaysia and Papua New Guinea
These spiders belong to the class of jumping spiders and are brightly coloured with red and green patches on a metallic purple body.
They have a curious habit of waving their forelegs in the air, perhaps as a sensory mechanism (?).
These spiders are known predators of ants. This one here is a male of the species. Tiziano, points out that this actually a female. (males have a black "brush" on their front legs.)
However, this one below appears to be the female. I was lucky to catch them both together during a courtship chase. I initially thought I was photographing the same individual until I saw them both together! The below image is actually of a different species as pointed out by Tiziano. ("female siler semiglaucus look just like the males but without the brush").