|Tarantula on my property, with my finger to provide scale. July 2012.|
|A full-sized Olios giganteus found by my neighbors right after we moved to Cuyamaca Woods.|
|A Western Black Widow, outside my house.|
|A male Brown Widow on my property. Note the pale hourglass marking, and the enlarged pedipalps (the large ball-like structures at the head-end - they are used by the male to help transfer sperm to the female during mating).|
The jumping spider family (Salticidae) is the largest spider family, and for those who are motivated, finding species in Cuyamaca Woods could probably become a full-time hobby (if one chose!). I am slowly trying to photograph jumping spiders as I encounter them in the area, and have encountered the common kinds, which are usually in the genus Phidippus, as well as one which may be an undescribed species - time will tell, and a jumping spider expert has a single specimen of the "mystery" spider.
|A colorful jumping spider, Phidippus sp. just outside the house.|