This female Plexippus cf. petersi jumping spider was in my courtyard preying on a cricket. As I scrammed to get my camera, the spider was trying to find a safe place for its lunch among the crevices away from this flash wielding photographer. I was using Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM fitted Canon MT-24EX macro twin light flash. I had a tough time positioning my 100mm macro with twin lights into that narrow space between a wooden bench and a laterite stone. So what you see here is my desperate attempt to capture this agile jumping spider in my camera before she disappeared into a crevice nearby for a peaceful lunch.
Plexippus cf. petersi is also known as Small zebra jumper or Common Housefly Catcher. It is a very common jumping spider found in our houses. It is of immense help in controlling housefly as well as mosquitoes.
This is a medium sized jumping spider. Male is around 6-7 mm in length while the female is around 7-9 mm in size. Cephalothorax of the male is U-shaped, convex having a broad, black, slightly curved, roughly triangular patch on either side of mid-dorsal line of the cephalic region. Ocular fields and laterals of cephalic region has white hairs. Female has a dull light brown or beige coloured cephalothorax. Chelicerae with one retro marginal and two promarginal teeth are found.
Abdomen of male has a broad, dark brown or black inwardly curved patch on either side of the mid line. A narrow incomplete line along the mid line towards upper end. Two pairs of conspicuous white spots at the middle of the abdomen. Abdomen of female dull light brown or beige in general colouration with an inconspicuous black, narrow line towards the upper end of the abdomen. Two pairs of faint white spots at the middle of the abdomen on dorsal side can be seen.
It is commonly found on the Walls of buildings and tree trunks very close to human habitat. It is distribution ranges from Africa to Japan, Philippines, Hawaii. It is common in and around households, on compound walls and tree trunks. It makes thick, oval silken retreat in wall corners, windows and crevices.