What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: WTF
Location: Long Beach CA
November 14, 2013 5:30 pm
I was minding my own business watching TV when THIS went shooting across my living room floor. I trapped it under a glass until my husband could take it outside. It was acting fairly aggressive, standing up on its hind legs and dancing around. It had green fangs and was about three feet long (my husband says more like half an inch but it DID have green fangs and it DID have murder in its eyes). Is it a jumping spider? Is it going to kill me and my family? BTW you should know that your website is the only reason the spider isn’t dead right now. I’m still terrified of spiders but thanks to you, I try not to kill them anymore.
Signature: Moving out if I see another one of these in my house

Possibly Bold Jumper

Possibly Bold Jumper

Dear Moving …,
We would advise you not to move because you will most likely encounter spiders wherever you go.  You are correct that this is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and we believe this might be a Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, based on this photo posted to BugGuide.  The Bold Jumper is found in Los Angeles, and it is a highly variable spider, with many individual having bright red and white markings.  We have several images of Jumping Spiders with green fangs in our archives.  Though it is possible to get bitten by a large Jumping Spider, the bite is mild and not considered dangerous.  Because of your kindness despite your fears, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award, and we are positively thrilled to learn that our site has had a positive impact on your tolerance levels toward the lower beasts.  If it is any consolation, Jumping Spiders like this one will help to control other unwanted visitors, including flies and cockroaches.

Thank you, What’s That Bug, I’m truly honored! Still freaked out and possibly moving to Antarctica, but honored. Thanks for all you guys do, your website rocks.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Long Beach, California

4 Responses to Bold Jumper

  1. Douglass says:

    I live in Long Beach, and quite often photograph local Bold jumpers. I have photographs of jumping spiders catching flies, termites, grasshoppers, etc. They are a safe & welcome guest to my garden.

  2. aVtgirl73 says:

    So, I live in Vermont and over the past 3 years I have taken up the beautiful hobby of growing flowers. It’s amazing and I can’t express how much joy it brings me to see these tiny seeds grow into these gorgeous flowers. One lesson I’ve learned is how completely unexpected nature can be and I never thought that growing these flowers would help me to discover a new love…BUGS! I’ve always had an interest in bugs and an appreciation for growing things but when I was young (9) and my sister (6) and I were on summer vacation visiting my Grandmother in Virginia and being naïve kids we decided to take a walk in some woods next to her home…long story short my sister was walking just ahead of me and I’m not sure how or which guardian angel was watching over us but I looked up just in time to see that my sister was about to walk straight into a large black spider who had made her web in the trees. I grabbed her, stopped her and we quickly ran out of the woods screaming. When we explained what had happened to my Grandmother and described the spider she gasped and told us that we had indeed crossed paths with a black widow spider and made us promise to never go into those woods alone again. I still get chills when I think of how close we came. After that I kept a very safe distance from all spiders. I’m not a person who believes in killing any living thing, I mean who am I to come along and snuff out a life? Each one has a role-right? So this year when the leaves began to fall I decided that I would experiment with some of my flowers and bring them inside to see if they could live through the winter in my spare bedroom turned plant/sun room. I have approximately 55 plants in there and I will be soon starting my seedlings in there to plant outside this spring. Now, I am coming to the point of this post…which I am sorry has taken so long…while I was watering my plants last month I discovered a black, hairy spider. I was a little nervous at first but I soon became fascinated by it’s beauty. I decided that since she had more then likely hitchhiked her way in and the weather was turning that she/he could stay. So I named her Brunhilda (after the comic strip cartoon in the local Saturday newspaper). I hadn’t seen her in some weeks and then today I saw her again, she’s still living in there and I noticed that she now has shiny green fangs and shiny spots on her body and she jumps! I have her jumping on video. I wanted to know what kind of spider she is so I found your website and this thread and she looks just like the one in the picture here which is really cool. I’m wondering if she will survive the winter in there? How long do they live? And, What do they eat? If she eats gnats then she should be alright bc I’ve got a little problem with them but I really like having her in there so I will leave them for her to take care of 😉 but I’m being careful bc I also don’t know if they bite. My cat is not allowed in there now lol. Thank you so much for the great info, I’ll go do more research…I hope she will make it until the spring and she can be returned to the wild.

    • bugman says:

      What a marvelous comment you have made. Your Bold Jumper will eat gnats and any other insects it happens to encounter. We do not know the life span of Bold Jumpers, but many spiders only survive a single year, but in your case, the protection from the outdoor elements might lengthen Brunhilda’s life span. As an aside, Black Widow spiders do not spin webs in trees. Rather they prefer dark locations lower to the ground. We do not believe the black spider you encountered when you were 9 was a Black Widow.

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