Help! Is this spider dangerous?
Location: Southwest United States (house in Albuquerque, NM)
September 27, 2011 8:46 pm
I am highly allergic (not deathly allergic, I don’t think) to spider bites. I am also pregnant. I’ve killed two of these spiders in the last week, and I’m worried they might pose a danger. Please let me know how I can get rid of them, if there might be a nest in the house, or any other safety advice. The attached photo is blown up. The spider itself measured barely 1 centimeter.
Signature: Mei

Jumping Spider

Hi Mei,
This is a harmless Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and it is also classified in the genus
Phidippus.  We often have difficulty identifying Jumping Spiders to the species level because many species look similar and individuals within a species often have great variability.  This individual looks similar to a photo posted to BugGuide of Phidippus princeps.  Jumping Spiders do not build webs to snare prey.  They have excellent eyesight and they hunt and pounce on prey.  They are often found feeding on flies and they will help keep the House Fly population down in your yard.  While we say that they are harmless, and we have never received a report of anyone being bitten by a Jumping Spider, the possibility does exist.  They should be handled with caution, or better yet, not handled at all.

Location: New Mexico

2 Responses to Jumping Spider

  1. Jim Harrison says:

    I’ve always had a fondness for jumping spiders, not only because I think they’re rather cute but because they seem to be able to figure out that you’re looking at them. If you gaze at a jumping spider that’s standing on your finger, it will lift up on its front legs and move its body back and forth, presumably to check you out–jumping spiders have excellent vision. I’ve even encountered individuals that would go into what looked to be their mating routine in this set up, waving their palps and front legs back and forth rhythmically. Thus, though no jumping spider has ever bitten me, at least a few confused or just extremely ambitious males apparently did want to have their way with me.

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