Red Jumping Spider
September 17, 2009
Middle of September, ’09, Central Oklahoma, USA. Found in grassy back yard near structure while mowing the lawn. It really irritates me that I don’t know this one. When I was in grade school an entomology professor/uncle of mine had me catching these guys for a paper he was writing on them. I think that he was naming the species. Now it’s nearly 50 years later and he’s gone and I don’t remember if he ever told me what he was doing with these red jumping spiders. There seems to be a few closely related species that inhabit the same area and vary only slightly in the markings. I have always thought that this was an exceptionally aesthetic little creature. As memory serves they are very fond of woodpiles. I would love to get a common name for this one but considering the connection a species name would be golden. Thank you.
Central Oklahoma, USA
We are most touched by your letter. Though we haven’t the time at the moment to try to research your request, we will post your letter and photo and perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply you with the answer. We are linking to the BugGuide section on the Jumping Spider family Salticidae as well. We believe your spider is in the Subfamily Dendryphantinae.
My research is indicating Phidippus apacheanus as the species. I still haven’t a clue as to who named it.
Thanks so much for your atttention.
Update from Karl
September 18, 2009
It looks like another jumping spider in the genus Phidippus (Salticidae: Dendryphantinae: Dendryphantini), possibly P. clarus or P. pius, but most likely P. cardinalis (the Cardinal Jumping Spider). Based on the numerous photos on the Bugguide site, this looks like a male. Regards.
I am familiar with P. cardinalis, we have them here, too. Generally P. cardinalis is a bit
larger, esp females and has markings on the abdomen that are not present in
P. apacheanus. P. cardinalis has a light line running around the for part of the abdomen and sometimes tiny light spots about middle dorsal of the abdomen. I am not familiar with any markings on P. apacheanus, just the red head and abdomen and black legs.
I believe we have Phidippus clarus as well, or I have seen it somewhere, and it has a black cephalothorax as do many Phidippus, as well as bright markings on the abdomen.
Phidippus pius lacks the black legs but accounting for individual variation is a possibility but I think that pius is a larger species.
It is not my intent to be argumentative or mistrusting of the experts. I’ve never taken a single class in entomology and only worked with a few relatives and friends that were entomologists. However, to me it still looks like P. apacheanus and I have only a marginal degree of faith in that identification.
There is some speculation that P. apacheanus is a velvet ant mimic which are common here and sport the come color and pattern. I have my doubts on this as the spiders seem to stay off of the ground where the wingless wasps frequent. The spiders are about half the size as well.
I’ll attach a few links to Phidippus apacheanus pics:
. . . and thanks so very much. Alternate opinions from interested and well-trained persons is highly valued. It could well be that you know something that I don’t. Thanks again,
Another Update from J. Hopkins
September 19, 2009
But I am seeing several examples where it appears that cardinalis and apacheanus have been misidentified one for the other. I am not sure that some of the web posted identifications can be trusted.