Jumping spider alarms itself

Last updated 14:55 25/03/2014
Fairfax Australia

A spider with "magnificent vision" appears to be surprised when filmed by a camera in north Queensland.

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The Northern Green Jumping Spider acts so strangely in front of the camera it's been dubbed the 'surprised spider'. 

But Owen Seeman from the Queensland Museum said the male Northern Green Jumping Spider was most likely not surprised, but posturing when it saw what it thought was another male spider in the lens’ reflection.

In the footage filmed by amateur photographers, the spider approaches the camera, then appears taken aback and on edge as the camera follows its moves.

The reaction has led to the arachnid being dubbed the ‘surprised spider’.

But Seeman said it most likely wasn’t surprised.

“What happens with these spiders is that they have some of the best vision of any of the animal kingdom.  Their telescopic vision is magnificent.

“What they see when you get a camera is a spider looking back at them in the lens and it’s another male spider.”

He said the spider could have been “agitated” by seeing a rival male and this may have led to the spider’s curious behaviour.

“If you set up a mirror in front of one of these spiders, they’ll put on their aggressive displays that they show to another male.”

Seeman said the Northern Green Jumping Spider is quite common from northern New South Wales all the up the east coast of Queensland.

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- Fairfax Media

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