As I was crouching on the ground to capture some short horned grasshoppers, a curious spider which was watching me all along wanted to have a closer look at me. It started climbed on my pants. Here is that very bold jumping spider Hyllus cf. semicupreus posing on my pants 🙂
Hyllus semicupreus is also sometimes called Heavy-bodied jumper. Female is around 8-9 mm and Male being smaller at 7-9 mm. They are commonly seen among foliage and tree trunks. They are distributed throughout India, Sri Lanka.
They are very active spiders that prey on insects and other spiders. Sexual dimorphism present. Construct oval, thick silken retreat on under surface of leaves especially leaf spikes of coconut trees.
Jumping spiders which belong to family Salticidae are the most diverse family with 5678 species and 597 genera in the world. In India it is known by 207 described species from 73 Genera. However, Salticidae is one of the least studied families among Indian spiders. The Genus Hyllus is known by four species from India namely Hyllus bos, Hyllus pudicus,Hyllus semicupreus and recently discovered Hyllus manu by my good friend John Caleb.
Spiders of the genus Hyllus are generally stout, hairy and dull coloured. Most species in the genera have “horns” formed by tufts of long bristles located at posterior median eyes. Hyllus includes medium-sized to large spiders with rounded carapace, clearly wider than eye field. Male pedipalp has generally long embolus, often with accompanying pars pendula. Epigyne is more sclerotized.
Cephalothorax dark brown to dull black in colour with dull sand yellow hairs on the cephalothorax. Clypeus height moderately large, about one-third the diameter of the anterior median eyes. Sternum longer than wide. Abdomen of male dark brown to dull black in colour with a covering of golden yellow flat setae. Female with oval abdomen covered with chevrons in white and brown hairs along mid-dorsal line.