What is it?

By MDC | May 1, 2024
From Xplor: May/June 2024
  • My eyes are big, but I am small.
  • I usually jump before I crawl.
  • I use a rope to catch my fall.
  • You might spot me on a wall.

Bold Jumping Spider

Missouri has over 40 kinds of jumping spiders. Most aren’t much bigger than a flake of oatmeal. A huge, central pair of eyes gives a jumper better vision than other animals that small. Jumping spiders don’t weave webs. Instead, they crawl close to prey and then — Sproing! — pounce on top of it. Before leaping, a jumper secures a strand of silk to its launch site. If it falls, it climbs up the silk to safety.

Also In This Issue


Animals have adaptations to help them catch food, avoid being eaten, and survive nature’s unforgiving environments.

Fireflies in a Field

Forget what the calendar says. When you see the flicker of a firefly’s fanny, you know summer has arrived.

This Issue's Staff

Artist – Matt Byrde
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Marcia Hale
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber