People who are dealing with bed bugs sometimes find this stuff encouraging, and maybe you will too. This isn’t the first “bed bug snuff film” we’ve seen, but it is perhaps the most creative.
Bedbugger Forums participant and pest management professional Paul Bello (credited as P.J. Bello) and an accomplice (N.P. Bello) re-enact an ancient Roman-style Christian vs. Lion tournament with the lion played by a jumping spider (Salticidae) on Wikipedia, specifically Phidippus audax, and a bed bug playing the Christian.
As in the original battles, it’s not a fair fight and the bloodthirsty audience doesn’t care.
Phidippus audax is a rather interesting spider and you may, like me, have found these jumping spiders in your home. They have four pairs of eyes (!) and you can see two pairs of them in the image below, also showing their pretty faces and “iridescent chelicerae” (thanks to Wikipedia for the lingo). You can’t see the spider’s good looks very well in the video.
According to Wikipedia, they can jump 10-50 times their own body length. The species is also named for its personality: “audax” means bold/daring in Latin (“audac-” is the Latin root of the English “audacious”). I think if I could jump 50x my body length, I’d be pretty audacious too. Besides, those (muscular?) front legs look pretty impressive also.
Thanks for letting me wax a bit science geeky. I believe that this is the first time in my life I have ever referred to a spider as having a pretty face. I guess spending time virtually with entomologists is rubbing off? That said, it doesn’t make me any more keen to encounter a jumping spider in my daily existence.
Warning: as expected, this bed bug snuff film contains depictions of violence and an insect death, and as such is not for everyone. People who object to violence (or who are scared of spiders or don’t want to see bed bugs) may not wish to watch.
If you are curious whether spiders can be put to good use killing bed bugs, read this article about how Athenians did just that with a species called Thanatus flavidus Simon, back in 1929.
But don’t get too excited; predators are not likely to be the best way (or even a good way) to eliminate your bed bugs today.
First image credit: Phidippus audax, by Kaldari, used under a Creative Commons Public Domain license
Second image credit: Face of an adult male Phidippus audax jumping spider, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.