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Bagheera kiplingi, named after the black panther in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (Ruiz & Edwards, 2013), is perhaps best known for its unusual dietary preferences. Unlike other jumping spiders, or other arachnids in general, Bagheera kiplingi’s diet is primarily plant-based, making it the first “vegetarian” spider known to date. Beltian bodies make up the majority of the 90% plant-diet (Meehan et al. 2009).  This species of jumping spider is found in parts of Central America and lives in or near the thorns of acacia trees (Meehan et al. 2009; Scully 2012). Females are bigger than the males with reddish dark brown color with white scales. Males are brown and green and are relatively smaller and thinner than the females (Ruiz & Edwards, 2013). Their predators include common Salticidae predators such as birds, reptiles, mammals, and wasps.

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© Natalia Lucero

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