Introducing: Jackie the jumping spider (Marpissa muscosa)

I've been experimenting with breeding fruitflies (ants love them). And though I'm struggling to keep them from dying before they can be frozen for future ant-food, they still reproduced more in the last two weeks than our current colony collection could eat in two months. Yet, when in a few months the collective appetite could actually start pacing my current level of fruitfly production, many of the colonies will be going into a hibernation of 3 months instead. Problem is that if i stop breeding in the winter I'll lose my breeding stock...

There are going to be a LOT of fruitflies waiting for the ants once they wake up. So decided to get them some help in eating some excess livestock. May I present to you: Jackie, the jumping spider!

Isn't she cute? Jackie has been hanging around our front door the last year (I'll just pretend it was the same spider all the time), always shy and ducking around corners or into little cracks whenever you got close (it's amazing how aware these jumping spiders are of you).

But all the escaped fruitflies lately must have made her a bit lazy, because Jackie let herself be caught surprisingly easy. After that I make a quick attempt of providing her some provisional housing (one of our two dogs was extremely jealous of the fancy twigs and kept looking for an opportunity to steal them from the jar).

It's funny to see the fruitflies walking around completely oblivious, with Jumpin' Jackie tracking and stalking them around her new home, hopping from twig to twig. All while chewing on a freshly caught prey like some really gross bubble-gum.

Hopefully I can find her a suitable husband before the season ends. At least domestic abuse won't be as likely as with other spiders (or many other insects for that matter). Marpissa muscosa, in Dutch called Schorsmarpissa  ('schors' means tree bark), are actually very social spiders. Preferring civil discourse through the waving of their front legs over the use of violence. Luckily, if we do end up with a hundred baby spiders, they won't grow hungry any time soon.

(Kittenmancer commented: "Let's please not end up with a hundred baby spiders, for the sake of your arachnophobic girlfriend.")