Call me Miss Muffet.

Have you ever seen the Daring Jumping Spider of Wyoming?

I've lived in Wyoming for nearly all my life and had no idea they existed.

I went down to the Platte River to enjoy my lunch on a nice sunny day when I felt something tickling my arm.

Daring Jumping Spider by the Platte River. Photo by Kolby Fedore, TSM
Daring Jumping Spider by the Platte River. Photo by Kolby Fedore, TSM

I jumped up, gasping loud enough for the fish to hear.

Once I got some distance between us I decided the mini-tarantula was actually pretty darn cute.

Strangely, it seemed like it wanted to play with me. When I moved to the other side of the table, so did the spider, staring up at me like a puppy with eight eyes.

Follow-up research suggests they are indeed an exceptionally playful spider and don't usually bite.

They're about the size of a dime and have green metallic fangs.

Sometimes they have orange marks on the belly when they are younger. As they get older, they turn white.

These arachnids only spin webs to protect their eggs or rest in the night. They prefer to stalk down their prey—usually other spiders.

Daring jumpers are common in fields and grassy areas. You can find them on fences or walls of outside structures, too, because they like to be able to jump downward to catch prey.

When they hunt, they spin one strand of webbing to use like a bungee cord, so if an attack-jump fails, the strand propels them back upwards.

Despite their tinyness they can jump over two feet.

Not that I was interested in keeping my new friend, but jumping spiders apparently make good pets because they are one of the friendliest spiders.

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