After seeing few videos about keeping jumping spiders (salticidae) I thought this is my kind of pets. They are easy to to care for and have quite a cute little face 😅. But obviously, it's not the kind of pets you could hug unfortunately.
So I started to look around in my backyard and found several species which I've taken photos of and posted on an Australian spider identification group on Facebook to help identify them.
The most common ones are tiny brown spiders that make their nest in between bricks of my house walls. I've also spotted some green ones that like to live among the foliage of plants in the garden. But I was looking for something larger and a bit more hairy and with some more interesting colours or patterns.
I found the one in the photo at the top which is an Opisthoncus species, she's a female that is pretty large. After a day and a few photographs taken, I decided to put her back on the lime tree I found her on. The reason was that she seemed to be less active and was spending her day in the corner of the enclosure, so I thought better let her go back to her natural environment.
I then went around the various plants and found this Sevaea sp.:
Another female, she's a bit smaller than the other one but she's very dynamic and liked to crawl around in her enclosure. So I decided to adopt her. She's also keen to walk on my hand and does not mind staying still for a while for me to take photos of her.
And look at those loving eyes 😍!
I initially set her in a clear plastic food container turned into a jumping spider enclosure but I decided to give her something bigger and taller. So after looking around for something I could reuse as an enclosure, I found some old CD boxes that are collecting dust. I made two layers using two boxes each. Each box would be opened 90 degrees and glued to one another. The bottom layer would have one side not glued so that I could use it as a door. The advantage with the CD boxes is that they already have a hinge system for the door, less work for me.
First, I'd remove the CD, labels and CD holder part (the one with the round stuff that clips onto the centre of the CD). I'd then position two boxes so that the base of one goes into the lid of the other. This way they have some support and flat a bit of flat surface to put some superglue onto.
One other benefit of the CD boxes is that they have a natural gap between the lid and the base, so there is the ventilation! I just need to cover it with some adhesive fly net.
I'd then repeat with a second layer that I would glue on top of the first making sure to leave one side not glued or else I'd seal the door. The ceiling of the enclosure was the base of a fifth CD box, there was a bit of gap at two ends so I filled them with hot glue.
For the base, I used a piece of foam that was protecting one of my guitar effect pedals, I was lucky it was almost the exact needed size and had a little cavity so I could fill it with sand. I'd then use a dry branch found in the backyard and attached to them some fake leaves from the craft shop. The finish mini tree is then glued to a small piece of off-cut wooden board so that it can stand on its own. I then placed that tree inside the enclosure and covered the wooden board with sand to hide it. I added more decorations and stuck a gumnut shell to the ceiling in the hope that the spider will find it and use it as her home.
I glued a couple of sheets of cork one of the sides just because I saw others doing so and I liked the look of it and maybe it will also make a nice background for some photos later on.
Here is the final result:
On the first day, the spider seemed happy inside her new enclosure, she was crawling around and was hunting the vinegar flies I added inside. She has found the gumnut hide but was only crawling on the outside if it. However, on the second day, I found her one morning inside the gumnut and the next morning she sealed it with silk leaving just a small opening.
I'm looking forward to take more photos of her and will try to get a nice footage of her hunting her food.