After attending the ABS and ISBE meetings, I flew to Florida to spend a few weeks holiday with family and friends.
I visited my old lab in Gainesville to say hi to all of the jumping spiders and take a few out for a photoshoot. This juvenile male Phidippus regius was just inquisitive enough to be still for some great shots! Look at those stunning iridescent chelicera!
This mature male Phidippus otiosus was not nearly as cooperative for his photoshoot but we managed one shot in the end.
Of course, I needed to say hello to the outreach program’s “arthropod petting zoo” which I used to manage.
Casey snapped this cute photo of me with a Chilean rosehair tarantula that is part of the outreach exhibit. New Zealand has incredible arthropods (that’s why I moved here!) but I sure do miss having tarantulas around.
While in Gainesville, I had to cut socializing short to photograph this amazing juvenile grizzled mantis (Gonatista grisea). Luckily, they were equally in awe with this handsome specimen. Look at that incredible camouflage against the lichen of an oak tree!
During my trip, I also got to visit with my old friends in Sarasota. We went to the Mote Marine Aquarium and Laboratory where I got to hang out with a lot of pufferfish.