The Bog Sun-jumper Spider (Heliophanus dampfi) is a tiny spider, only found in raised bogs, making it one of the rarest jumping spiders in Britain.
This little jumper is black in colour, with brown legs and lime green palps (the second pair of appendages lateral to its jaws). Palps are used to transfer sperm from the male to the female. In males the palps are enlarged compared to females and can often appear like boxing gloves.
These spiders get their name from their ability to leap distances; using this ability to catch prey and for crossing gaps. Bog Sun-jumpers are able to accurately judge distance by having two large eyes on a flat face that point forward. Some species of jumping spiders also use this good vision in elaborate courtship rituals consisting of bright colours and extravagant dancing manoeuvres.
Sun-jumpers can be found hiding at the base of grass tussocks in poor weather, emerging when conditions improve.
Size: 3mm in length
Life span: Jumping spiders in general tend to live between six months and two years
Diet: Jumping spiders are ambush hunters and use their jumping ability to capture prey; feeding primarily on insects
Reproduction: Female jumping spiders will create an egg sac to lay eggs in. Once the spiderlings hatch they will molt multiple times as they grow larger and are at their most vulnerable until their final exoskeleton comes in. Spiders reach adulthood after five to ten molts
When to see: Adult females can be found from April to July, males in June and July
Population Trend: This is a very rare declined and declining species
Threats: Loss of habitat, in particular loss of raised bogs as a result of destruction and degradation through human activity
Fun Facts: Jumping spiders can jump up to 50 times their own body length! Bog Sun-jumper Spiders were only discovered in Britain 30 years ago
If you would like to volunteer for our current project please get in touch with our Peatland Conservation Officer Melissa Shaw. There are volunteering opportunities ranging from practical workdays to take out scrub and trees on the bogs, to survey work across the bogs for wildlife and to monitor water levels both before and after restoration work has been carried out.
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