30th May 2012
This spider was named Bagheera kiplingi after Bagheera, the black panther character in The Jungle Book, and the book’s author Rudyard Kipling. It was seemingly named because of it’s panther-like agility, which is common to all jumping spiders. However, while all the other known jumping spiders are predators, Bagheera is almost completely vegetarian, feeding almost exclusively on acacia buds and nectar. They use their agility to escape the aggressive ants that usually protect acacia trees from other animals. Occasionally, the Bagheera spider feeds on ant larvae, and even—if very hungry—on other Bagheeras (it’s still a spider, after all).