two unidentified spiders
Dear Bugman!
I have here two photos of different spiders. The male with the orange abdomen has eluded ID for too long! I happened to catch him while loving on his woman. He presented her with a grasshopper, and while she munched happily on her tasty treat, he got around to more importnat things. I managed to take a nice succession of photos, but this one had the best representations of both of them. I don’t need to tell you how awesome it was to witness this event. The second photo is a small spider with moderately long front legs, the first two pair I believe, found on the wall. He folded his legs up tight in response to my camera in his face, so I couldn’t get him to pose. I took these pictures West Texas this month.
Wendy A.

How romantic is that Wendy?
We love your courting Jumping Spider photos and the story as well. Your Jumping spiders are from the Family Salticidae, probably the genus Phidippus, and possibly Phidippus formosus. Hogue writes: “The brilliant red abdomen of this species frequently attracts attention in the spring, when it is most active. … The Red Jumping Spider is not considered dangerous, although its bite may be painful to sensitive persons. Like all jumping spiders, it has a pair of very large eyes. This is a hunting spider and thus does not use a permanent web for trapping prey. … Both sexes spend the daylight hours wandering over the ground and vegetation in search of small invertebrates, upon which they may leap from some distance.” Your spider might also be Phidippus insolens, which exhibits dimorphism in both sexes, meaning that the males and females are differently colored as well as having different color variations within the sex. One form has a black cephalothorax and red abdomen like your photo. Your second photo might be a Domestic Spider, Theridion tepidariorum.

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Location: Texas

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