Ant-acacia jumping spiders

female Bagheera kiplingi

In 2007, Chris Meehan and I co-discovered the unique herbivorous diet of Bagheera kiplingi.

We did not discover the species as new to science: the Peckhams, a Wisconsin arachnologist couple, described Bagheera kiplingi in 1897. We only uncovered the species’ extraordinary behavior and diet.

We later learned that the same discovery had been made independently in Costa Rica in 2001 by Eric J. Olson. We jointly published the discovery in 2009 (in Current Biology).

My students and I are continuing field studies of this extraordinary species in Quintana Roo, Mexico, and—starting in 2013—in 2013 in Panama and Costa Rica.

Press coverage of our co-discovery