Red-backed Jumping Spider (Phidippus johnsoni)
Yesterday, I was working at my desk, when a large spider, sporting impressively bright-colored markings, descended down a filament of web, and landed with a noticeable thud on top of a television remote control, languishing unused at the far left corner of my monitor stand.
I debated for an instant between hand-to-hand combat, with me employing a handy ruler; or chemical warfare, involving a nearby can of Raid House and Garden. I decided to go for the high tech approach, and reached for the can of Raid. My alert opponent, however, cleverly divined my arachnocidal intentions, and dashed over the edge to the preferred refuge of all outlaws: the terra incognita between desk and wall. My hunting instincts were aroused. I had no intention of letting the quarry get away, but my search was unavailing.
I couldn’t nail the spider, so I figured I could at least entertain the wife a bit, so I sent the little woman (who is out of town on a business trip) an email, informing her that we had acquired a new roommate, and urging her to say hello for me, when she found the same spider on her desk some day(we share an office). My wife was not amused.
Well, Karen actually does get to come home, after all.
At pretty much the same time of day today, clearly the same uppity spider landed directly in the center of my desk with an even louder thump, erected its feelers, and advanced rapidly and purposefully in my direction. I could practically hear its thoughts: “Dare spraying bug spray at me, will you, villain? I see that can of Raid is out of reach, so let’s settle things here and now.” Further threats, and the arachnid’s further advance were prevented, however, by the rapid descent of a Paulownia wood Japanese box, containing a very nice Kaneiye sword guard.
I, of course, then proceeded to identify the specimen.
So perish all our enemies.