spider attack

With the car, i’m getting around alot more. Made it back up to Sage Mountain National Park a week or so ago. Wandering about in the mahoganies, figs, and cedars (totally unrelated and unlike a temperate cedar tree), looking for critters and flowers. Found a decent amount of both. Stopped to watch a tiny glittering jewel spider weaving a web at face-height across the trail. Looked around and spotted an incredible jumping spider, about 1/2″ long, very fuzzy black, but with opalescent green stripes on its head, red/gold stripes on its abdomen, and blue patches on its knees.
Got me to llooking around a little more. Soon saw a rather plain brown jumper, about 1/4″. Holding the leaf up to see him better, and a mosquito landed on the back of my hand and dug in. The tiny spider leapt over from the leaf to my knuckle, snatched the mozzie (almost as big as itself!), and leapt back onto the leaf! Pretty cool. Turned over anoth leaf oly 6″ away, and was shocked by another incredibly beautiful jumper, this one about 3/8″ long; completely translucent electric green, except for the glittering black eyes set into a coral-red cap on its head.
Also saw more Orb spiders, mostly the black ones with blue and purple spotted abdomens, but a few of the larger (1 1/2″) golden leopard-spotted ones. Sadly, i didn’t spot any of the largest of that latter type, which i’ve seen nearly 6″ long, in massive, trail-blocking webs.
This hike, i ascended to the highest point on Tortola, some 1700 feet, taking trails i hadn’t the last time i was up there in the spring. New signage identifying trees and flowers has sprung up, but the park is still pretty run-down. i’ll have to try and find out if there are any local naturalists in the area who can tell me more about all the nature up there.


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