Nature Blog Network

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Jumping Spiders, aka Nature Pimps, Officially Named Sexiest Invertebrate of the Animal Kingdom

Not only do jumping spiders "drop it like its hot" to impress the hotties on the dance floor. Asian jumping spiders, not to be outdone by counterparts elsewhere in the world, flash a little bling bling to catch the ladies' eye. Taylor & McGraw report in the latest Current biology, that three-layered "scale sandwiches" of chitin and air produce a brilliant iridescent display that simply irresistible (photo to left, from Taylor & McGraw).

Only the scales of males reflect UV-light which the females can see, though humans being so intelligently designed cannot. When viewing a mirror image of themselves,

"males displayed aggressively to their mirror image, as we would expect one to behave towards a rival male; however, when UV light was filtered out, the males behaved differently, often courting themselves."-Taylor & McGraw 2007
They are so sexy even they can't keep their chelipeds off themselves!
"Females also seem to be paying attention to UV coloration in males; in experiments where UV light was filtered out, females ignored male courtship displays."-Taylor & McGraw 2007
Chica-chica bomp bomp oh yeah. Bang a gong and get it on.

Apparently, some really nerdy humans studied their scales and found that
"...each scale is composed of a sandwich structure with two outer corrugated chitin plates surrounding a thin layer of air (Figure 1C). This structure functions as a multilayer reflector, whereby the alternating layers of chitin, with a high refractive index, and air, with a low refractive index, organized at just the right periodicity with respect to the wavelength of light reflected, result in constructive interference, as light reflected off each interface emerges in phase"-Taylor & McGraw 2007
yadda yadda yadda. Whatever. This is just nerdspeak for male jumping spiders are the sexiest invertebrate in the Kingdom. Jumping spiders are so hot, just looking at the image above makes my retina sizzle.

3 comments:

  1. Christina KelloggAugust 9, 2007 at 5:20 PM

    Kevin, you're en fuego today! Two of your best posts yet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Kevin, thanks for the comments at my blog, looks like we share some interests!

    Here are two links with some of my favorite photos of salticids:

    jumpers and sexual cannibals

    I hope they turn you on!

    ReplyDelete

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