Darnah (درنة‎) is a port city in Eastern Libya, pop: 80,000. It was the seat of one of the wealthiest provinces in the Barbary States and has a unique environment among Libyan cities, as it lies between green mountains, the Mediterranean, and the desert. The city is home to people of mixed origins. Darnis and Darne were the Greek and Roman names for the city. In the Hellenistic period the ancient city was part of the Libyan Pentapolis. Under Rome, it became a civil and later the religious metropolis of Libya Secunda. It was a metropolitan titular archbishopric in the former Roman province of Libya, in the diocese of Egypt. The city was resettled by Islamic refugees from Spain (Al-Andalus) in 1493 on the site of the ancient settlement. Under Ottoman rule, it was under the governor at Tripoli, but shortly after 1711 it fell under the Karamanli Sultanate, until 1835 when it became a dependency of the autonomous sanjak of Benghazi, essentially Cyrenaica, which was governed directly from Constantinople (Turkey). The French admiral Gantheaume landed at Derna in 1800 in an attempt to reinforce Napoleon in Egypt by bringing troops overland, but was rebuffed by the local garrison. Derna was the location of the 1805 Battle of Derne, in which forces under U.S. General William Eaton - who had marched 800 km across the Libyan Desert from Alexandria - captured the city as part of the First Barbary War.

In 1911 Italian troops occupied Derna during the Italo-Turkish War. In 1941, Australian troops captured it from the Italians. In 1941, the Germans retook it from the British, in 1942, British forces recaptured it. In 2007, American troops in Iraq uncovered a list of foreign fighters for the Iraqi insurgency. Of the 112 Libyans on the list, 52 had come from Derna. Derna has the reputation of being the most pious Muslim city in Libya. It is located in the Jebel Akhdar, the heavily forested, fertile upland area, which is the wettest region of Libya. It is also a city with pleasant weather. In winter, average temps range between 4 and 14 Celsius, and might drop to below zero. Rain, hail, and occasional snow is present. Derna is also famous for its green mountainous areas that have a view of the Mediterranean. 


Wooly-legged Jumping Spider - Saitis barbipes

In accordance with the requirements of courtship in jumping spiders, in which the visual cues are the primary releaser, males of the Wooly-legged Jumping Spider, Saitis barbipes (Salticidae) are highly skilled.

Although most males jumping spiders use their first legs for signaling toward the female, some genera (e.g. Saitis, Maratus, Habronattus) have specialized their third legs for that purpose. In the Mediterranean Saitis barbipes, the third legs, larger than the others, are red and bear conspicuous black hair brushes on tibia and metatarsus. During courtship these legs are waved up and down, and from time to time he makes  the white-tipped tarsi vibrate rapidly in a plane perpendicular to the body axis. The vibration frequency is high enough to produce a sound perceivable by man.

Although the male seems extenuated by this performance, the effect on the female is impressive, she collapses on her legs and half turns her abdomen ventral side upward.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credits: [Top: ©kankikun | Locality: not indicated, 2012] - [Bottom: ©Thomas Roppenecker | Locality: not indicated, 2014]