Jumping spider mating display
October 31, 2009
I was working in my backyard today when I noticed these two beautiful little jumping spiders. The male was trying to convince the female that he would make a good mate. He would approach the female with his arms raised and vibrate his pedipalps. When he would get close, the female would chase after him like she was going to eat him. Eventually the male decided that it wasn’t worth the risk and ran away. The male was about 1/4 of an inch long, and the female was about 1/2 an inch long. They had gray bodies and brilliant gold hairs covering their legs. Any help you can provide in identifying these little beauties will be very appreciated. Keep up the great work.
We believe your spiders are Phidippus mystaceus based on images posted to BugGuide, but we also suspect this might be two male spiders vying for dominance. The male spider is a perfect match to an image on BugGuide. The coloration and pattern of the females posted to BugGuide are significantly different than in your photos. The images are quite amazing.
After I saw that you identified my spiders I decided to look for more pictures of Phidippus mystaceus/. /I found several sites that showed females with gold on their legs. These all lacked the red markings on top of their heads that the males have. The larger of the spiders I found also lacked these red markings, but the smaller one had them. Could there be another variation or subspecies of P. mystaceus/ /where the females have gold legs too? Thanks for the help with the I.D.
Here are the links. http://bugguide.net/node/view/231102/bgimage
Hope they help.