For My Fellow Arachnonerds
And here is an article on jumping spider fighting and how fights between males differ from fights between females. Basically, males tend to concede easily and their fights involve a lot of posturing. Females tend to fight to the death--or at least severe injury. Why? Because females have an interest in protecting their nests, which they need when they molt.
Once upon a time, after a damaging incident with a wolf spider at Girl Scout camp, I was an arachnophobic. I couldn't even look at photographs of spiders in my field guides without getting all creepy feeling. When we lived in Ellicott City, I happened upon a book on spiders in the library one day. Without pictures. It looked interesting, so I checked it out. It was interesting (and I really need to find it again so that I can get a copy for myself). Ever since then, I've found myself liking spiders more and more. Never mind that our house is full of spiders. They're cheaper and safer than Raid. ;)
This spring, I had a jumping spider in my study. They have highly developed vision (this I learned from writing the article "Common Michigan Spiders That Don't Build Webs" for DS) and watch the people in their world as much as the people tend to watch them. "My" jumping spider would creep out from under the desk or inside the printer and watch me for hours on end. If I moved too abruptly, he would sink back down, but I could still see little eyes peeping over, watching me. One day, though, I came into the study and found him curled up on the floor. He had recently died; his legs weren't even stiff yet. I buried him in the garden beneath the sage, my favorite herb (which was also in bloom at the time and gorgeous).
Okay--back to work!