Skip to main content

Bagheera kiplingi

Bagheera kiplingi
Today's animal is rather unusual-- it has an almost exclusively herbivorous diet, which makes it very unique among the 40,000 different spider species out there!

Bagheera kiplingi was only first discovered in 2008. It is a species of jumping spider that is native to Central America. Like other Jumping Spdiers, it possesses large eyes and the ability to leap large distances (as far as 50 times their body size). Unlike its cousins, however, it does not hunt its food.

B. kiplingi has figured out a way to steal nutritious protein and fat-rich nubs from Acacia trees. These nubs, called Beltian Bodies, are formed due to a symbiotic relationship between the Acacia tree and Ants. The Spiders ignore the Ants that guard the Bodies, and feed almost exclusively on the nubs. I say "almost exclusively" because the Spiders do sometimes feed on the Ant larvae as well, but it is a very small percentage of their diet.

B. kiplingi exhibits sexual dimorphism-- the males have a dark greenish cephalothorax, while the female's is reddish brown. Females also have much larger abdomens.

And for those who were curious, Bagheera kiplingi is named after the Panther in Kipling's The Jungle Book and Kipling himself. The Genus named was derived back in 1896 by George and Elizabeth Peckham. They named a handful of other genera after Kipling characters as well.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Central America
Size : Length around 2cm
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Class : Arachnida -- Order : Araneae
Family : Salticidae -- Genus : Bagheera -- Species : B. kiplingi


  1. A vegetarian spider! Nature is just full of surprises...

  2. This species is not newly discovered. It was named in 1896. Perhaps because the unique diet was "discovered" recently, this has led to some misunderstanding about what was discovered.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe