Male Marpissa muscosa - posing, Heesch, Netherlands
Henriette and I were having dinner inside the house when this little cutie was gliding down the sides of the table. I usually don't actively stage live insects, but I figured this one asked for it. I trapped it in a glass and put the glass on our table in the garden. It wouldn't cooperate and kept running frantically inside the glass so I gave it back its freedom, a fair level playing field where it could flee my attempt to photograph it. Luckily, it didn't immediately. Quite the contrary, it's a cocky one.
It took me a long while to identify this one as the female seems to be much more often photographed. The male can be identified based on its smaller size, large black chelicerae (mouthparts), eye arrangement and pattern on the abdomen. Furthermore, finding it inside the house is another clue as this is one of few species in the Netherlands often encountered inhouse.
''Marpissa muscosa'' is a species of jumping spider.
Females reach about 8–11 mm length, males only 6–8 mm. Both sexes are coloured grey to brown. The whole spider has a furry appearance and is flattened in shape.
The species builds a kind of nest under the bark of dead trees. Up to 100 of these nests can occur side by side. This spider has a hierarchy: weaker animals will show their inferiority by strutting their front legs and slowly receding from the scene.