Bold Jumping Spider: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell

Bold jumping spiders, also known as white-spotted jumping spiders, are fascinating creatures that belong to the Salticidae family. They are easily recognizable due to their fuzzy, usually black bodies with spots on the abdomen, and their jerky movements. These spiders are known for their remarkable jumping abilities and do not build webs like many other spider species.

These daytime hunters are not only admired for their agility but also for their remarkable eyesight. Bold jumpers rely primarily on movement to locate their prey and exhibit a unique stalking behavior before attacking in a swift leap. Their eyes play a crucial role in their hunting technique, with the front row of four eyes having a significantly enlarged median pair.

Some key characteristics of the bold jumping spider include their size, with females measuring 8 to 19 millimeters and males measuring 6 to 13 millimeters. They also display a pattern of white, yellow, or orange spots on the top of their abdomen, with younger spiders typically having orange spots. Additionally, males often possess tufts of hair, or “eyebrows,” above their eyes, giving them a distinctive appearance.

Description and Identification

General Appearance

The bold jumping spider, belonging to the Family Salticidae, is a furry and robust daytime predator. They are characterized by their distinctive eye arrangement, with an enlarged median pair in the front row of their four eyes, and the second and third rows positioned further back on the cephalothorax. They are known for their agile leaps to capture prey and lack of web-building.

Coloration and Patterns

Bold jumpers exhibit variations in coloration, typically boasting a fuzzy, black or reddish-brown body. They have an oval abdomen adorned with spots in white, yellow, or orange hues. Young spiders often display orange spots. The iridescent green chelicerae of these spiders also set them apart.

Some distinguishing features include:

  • Fuzzy body
  • Spots on the abdomen (white, yellow, or orange)
  • Iridescent green chelicerae (mouthparts)

A brief comparison between male and female bold jumping spiders:

Size (millimeters) Distinctive Feature
Male 6-13 “Eyebrows” (tufts of hair)
Female 8-19 No “eyebrows”

The combination of their unique eye arrangement, coloration patterns, and hunting behavior, make the bold jumping spider a fascinating and easily recognizable species.

Habitat and Distribution

Geographical Range

The bold jumping spider, also known as the white-spotted jumping spider, belongs to the Salticidae family and is predominantly found across the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico. They have also been introduced to the Nicobar Islands, Hawaii, and other regions.

Preferred Environments

Bold jumping spiders are versatile and can be found in a variety of habitats, including:

  • Woodlands: Dense forests provide ample hiding spots and rich feeding grounds.
  • Grasslands: Open areas with tall grasses give them the opportunity to stalk prey.

Their distribution spans different environments due to their adaptability.

Habitat Pros Cons
Woodlands Ample hiding spots Limited visibility for prey
Grasslands Tall grass for stalking prey Less protection from predators

Bold jumping spiders are known for their unique eye arrangement and jumping abilities, which makes them efficient hunters in different environments. They exhibit incredible vision, allowing them to stalk and capture their prey.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Hunting Strategies

Jumping spiders, such as the bold jumper, belong to the family Salticidae. They are daytime hunters with some unique features:

  • Excellent eyesight, using four pairs of eyes
  • Stereoscopic vision, allowing for depth perception
  • Retinas that can regenerate in darkness, improving daylight vision

These spiders rely on movement to locate their prey and stalk them before attacking. Their attack strategy consists of a fast, precise pounce, overpowering their target.

Jumping Technique

Jumping spiders are well-known for their impressive leaping abilities. Some factors contributing to their jumping prowess include:

  • Hydraulic pressure in the legs, enabling powerful thrusts
  • Safety line of silk, ensuring they don’t fall after a jump
  • Image defocus, allowing for distance estimation

Their jumping skills make them highly efficient hunters in their natural environments.

Role as Pets

Bold jumping spiders can also be kept as pets. Their features and characteristics make them an interesting choice for enthusiasts:

  • Vibrant colors, often having iridescent green chelicerae
  • Harmless to humans, with venom that has no significant effect
  • Simple care requirements, typically eating small insects

However, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Limited lifespan, usually living only one to two years
  • Inability to interact with their owner, as they are more of a display pet
Attribute Bold Jumping Spider Other Pet Spiders
Lifespan 1-2 years Varies
Interaction Low Varies
Care Requirements Easy Varies
Size 6-19 mm Varies
Aesthetics Attractive Varies

In conclusion, the bold jumping spider’s behavior and lifestyle are shaped by its incredible hunting and jumping abilities, as well as its particular set of attributes and characteristics.

Mating and Reproduction

Sexual Dimorphism

Courtship Rituals

Males perform a courtship dance to attract females, which includes:

  • Vibrating palps
  • Waving legs
  • Displaying their colorful chelicerae

Egg Laying and Spiderlings

  • Egg Laying: Females create a silk-lined nest where they [lay their clutch of eggs](https://bioone.org/journals/the-journal-of-arachnology/volume-40/issue-3/B12-035.1/M ultiple-reproductive-cycles-in-female-bold-jumping-spiders–Phidippus/10.1636/B12-035.1.short)
  • Egg Sacs: The female guards the egg sacs until the spiderlings emerge
  • Spiderlings: Newly hatched spiderlings are cared for by the female until they are ready to venture out on their own

Comparison Table of Female and Male Bold Jumping Spiders:

Feature Female Bold Jumping Spider Male Bold Jumping Spider
Size 8-19 mm 6-13 mm
Color White, yellow, or orange spots on abdomen Iridescent green chelicerae
Unique Traits N/A “Eyebrows” over eyes

Diet and Predators

Feeding Habits

The Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax) belongs to the family Salticidae and is a carnivorous species. They have a diverse diet that includes various insects such as:

  • Crickets
  • Moths
  • Dragonflies
  • Boll weevils
  • Tarnished plant bugs
  • Pink bollworms

These spiders rely on their excellent vision to locate and stalk their prey before attacking with a quick leap1.

Natural Enemies

Bold Jumping Spiders face threats from various predators throughout their lifespan. Some common predators include:

  • Birds
  • Lizards
  • Larger insects

Despite being skilled hunters themselves, Bold Jumping Spiders need to be cautious and avoid falling prey to their natural enemies in the wild.

Physical Abilities

Remarkable Eyesight

The Bold Jumping Spider, belonging to the Salticidae family, possesses incredible vision. Their eight eyes allow them to:

  • Detect prey from a distance
  • Recognize biological motion
  • Navigate their surroundings

The front row of four eyes consists of a greatly enlarged median pair, while the other two rows reside further back on the cephalothorax. This eye arrangement aids them in their hunting abilities during the day.

Impressive Leaping Skills

Jumping spiders, including the species Salticus scenicus, are known for their astounding leaping capabilities. They can jump:

  • Long distances relative to their body size
  • Accurately onto prey
  • To escape predators

They achieve their impressive leaps through the use of their legs, which are strong, agile, and designed for powerful jumping.

Comparison of Jumping Spiders and Non-Jumpers (Example: Orb-Weavers)

Characteristic Jumping Spiders (Salticidae) Non-Jumpers (Orb-Weavers)
Eyes Eight (with distinctive arrangement) Eight (typical arachnid configuration)
Legs Robust, designed for jumping Slender, adapted for web building
Hunting Method Active daytime hunting, jumping on prey Passive, waiting in web for prey
Vision Excellent, vital for hunting Relatively poor, rely on web vibrations

In summary, the Bold Jumping Spider has incredible eyesight and remarkable leaping abilities, making it an effective hunter in the Salticidae family. Their unique eye configuration and robust legs set them apart from many other spider species, providing them with the physical abilities necessary for their active daytime hunting lifestyle.

Venom and Bites

Venom Potency

  • The Bold Jumper Spider is not known for its venom potency
  • Bites are rare and typically not harmful to humans

Effects of Bites

  • Bites may cause mild redness and swelling
  • Some individuals may experience itching or pain

In general, bold jumping spiders are considered to be harmless to humans. Although their venom is not very potent, bites from these spiders may still cause some localized effects such as redness, swelling, itching, or pain. However, these symptoms usually subside quickly and without any severe complications.

Fun Facts and Trivia

The bold jumper, also known as the white-spotted jumping spider, is a fascinating arachnid found in various regions, from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico, including places like California and Cuba. Here are some interesting facts about this unique spider:

  • Scientific name: Phidippus audax
  • Size: Females: 8-19mm, Males: 6-13mm
  • Colors: Black with white, yellow, or orange spots on the abdomen
  • Chelicerae: Iridescent green or metallic blue

They have a distinctive cephalothorax (head) that is larger than their oval-shaped abdomen. Bold jumpers are well-known for their ability to jump great distances, which they use for hunting and navigating their environment. They use a silk thread as a safety line while jumping, ensuring they don’t fall too far if they miss their target.

Bold jumping spiders are commonly found on fences, walls, stones, and even the sides of buildings. They are daytime hunters, preying on various insects with their impressive vision. Although their bite may cause minor pain, they are generally harmless to humans.

As pets, bold jumpers are relatively low-maintenance and adaptable to a variety of temperatures. However, they require appropriate enclosures and feeding.

Here’s a quick comparison of some characteristics between bold jumpers and other jumping spider species:

Feature Bold Jumper Other Jumping Spiders
Body Fuzzy, usually black Fuzzy, various colors
Spots Abdomen Varies
Chelicerae Color Green or metallic blue Varies
“Eyebrows” (tufts of hair) Males only Varies

In summary, the bold jumping spider is a fascinating arachnid with unique features and impressive jumping abilities. Despite their daring appearance, they are harmless to humans and make interesting, low-maintenance pets for those interested in keeping arachnids.

Footnotes

  1. Jumping Spider | Department of Entomology | Washington State University

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Bold Jumper

 

November spider
Location: s indiana
November 1, 2011 11:15 pm
I have only seen these around Halloween time & the rear looks like a pumpkin with a ski mask on. Any ideas ? He acts very vicious so yes he’s in a zip lock bag
Signature: brian

Bold Jumper

Hi Brian,
Despite the diffusion because of the plastic bag, we can still identify this Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, because of the green fangs and orange spot on the abdomen.  The Bold Jumper is a highly variable species, but the green fangs are an identifying feature.  You can see additional photos of Bold Jumpers on the UC Irvine Natural History website.  Though they are quite bold and fearless, Bold Jumpers are not dangerous to humans.

Bold Jumper

Letter 2 – Bold Jumper

 

Beautiful Spider…what kind is he?
Hello,
I found this pretty spider outside our suite while we were on vacation in texas hill country…any idea what he might be? Notice the smiley face on his back…
Leah

Hi Leah,
This is a female Phidippus audax, commonly called the Bold Jumper. Jumping Spiders do not build webs and have excellent eyesight. They jump on their prey, including flies and other flying insects. See the Spider Webwatch site for more information.

Letter 3 – Blue Jumping Spider

 

Subject:  Blue jumping spider?
Geographic location of the bug:  Topeka KS
Date: 11/18/2019
Time: 05:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw a previous question about a blue jumping spider during my search. This little guy was at the storage units my mom works at. No altering to the photo at all. Not a hoax. I couldnt find much online about blue spiders. Coolest little spider I’ve seen. I think it’s a jumping spider?
How you want your letter signed:  Brandy

Jumping Spider

Dear Brandy,
This is definitely a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and it does appear to be quite bluish, but we cannot provide you with a species name.

Letter 4 – Blue Jumping Spider: Hoax or Not? You Decide

 

Subject: Blue jumping spider??
Location: Austin, TX west hills
August 6, 2014 8:44 am
A friend, an arachnophobe no less, posted a pic of a beautiful tiny blue spider that looks like a jumping spider to me but I couldn’t find another matching it’s blueness anywhere online. Is this a really rare blue jumping spider?
Signature: LauraMaura

Blue Jumping Spider???
Blue Jumping Spider???

Dear LauraMaura,
How well do you know this friend?  Is your friend a practical joker?  Excuse us for being skeptical, but we have had submissions in the past that have tried to hoodwink us.  See here and here.  We believe this is a Cardinal Jumper,
Phidippus cardinalis, a species found in Texas, and we believe that the color has been altered in photoshop.  See BugGuide for an image of the Cardinal Jumper.  We know of no electric blue Jumping Spiders in North America.  We began our investigation by cropping much closer and then lightening and cropping a second time.  The edges around the spider do not look right.

Cropped Blue Jumping Spider:  Hoax or Not???
Cropped Blue Jumping Spider: Hoax or Not???
Blue Jumping Spider has questionable edges.
Blue Jumping Spider has questionable edges.

Then we found a similar Cardinal Jumper from our archives and we created a color altered version of the file, which we present side by side for comparison.  Click on the image to enlarge.  You judge:  Hoax or Not???

Cardinal Jumper:  Real and Enhanced color
Cardinal Jumper: Real and Enhanced color

Apparently his camera phone auto-adjusted and this is the color that the spider appeared in the photo, though the photographer says it was more black than blue in person.

Thanks for that information.  The overall color on the original is not true to nature, leaning toward cyan, which might make a black spider appear blue.  Black is a common color for a Jumping Spider.  This is definitely a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, but there is not enough detail to determine the exact species.

 

 

 

Letter 5 – Bold Jumper

 

Cool Spider!
Location: St Augustine Beach, FL
November 25, 2011 11:46 am
I discovered this beautiful animal crawling up the exterior wall of my office. I’ve seen them before, however never quite this large and not this color. This spider was well behaved and seemed very healthy. Just crusing the walls looking for something to eat and leaving a single thread of web stuck to the wall wherever it had been. It must work out regularly with muscles like that! I’m calling it a Schwarzenegger Spider until you set me straight. Thanks so much for continuing to battle ignorance!
Signature: Thanks! Bill

Bold Jumper

Hi Bill,
Your Jumping Spider is a Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, and you can compare your individual to this image on BugGuide.  Though the markings can be somewhat variable, the green chelicerae or fangs are quite distinctive.  Jumping Spiders do not spin a web to snare prey.  They are hunting spiders with excellent eyesight and they stalk prey and pounce on it.  The silk line it spins will help it to return to the location it was walking on in the event its leap causes it to fall.  We believe your individual is a male as evidenced by the well developed pedipalps.

Letter 6 – Bold Jumper

 

Subject: wondering what this spider is.
Location: south central Texas
February 20, 2014 11:48 pm
I found this spider on a wall on the outside of a nearby building. Wondered what it is.
Signature: Austin

Bold Jumper
Bold Jumper

Dear Austin,
This is a harmless Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, most likely the Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, a variably colored species that is sometimes found in this black form with the red dot on the abdomen.  The green chelicerae, the fangs, are quite distinctive.  You can see this matching individual on BugGuide and BugGuide is also a nice place to read more about the species.

Thank you very much!

Letter 7 – Bold Jumper

 

Subject: Spider in Denver, CO
Location: Denver, Co
May 16, 2017 4:50 am
I found this little guy on my front porch on May 15, 2017. It was in the afternoon.
Signature: Barb in denver

Bold Jumper

Hi Barb,
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae.  The green chelicerae and markings are a good match for the Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, which is pictured on BugGuide.

Letter 8 – Bold Jumper, we believe

 

Subject: Spider in Greenhouse
Location: 78634, Texas,
April 6, 2016 8:28 am
Good day wonderful bug folks. Keep up the good work! I saw a small spider on my greenhouse frame (inside the GH) last night and tried taking a picture. It kept hiding and is upside down in the pic now since she poked out her head from the aluminum frame and I just quickly snapped a pic.
Last year we had a fist sized hole in the ground just outside the greenhouse and I always thought I saw a rather large black arachnid rush in there whenever I approached. Not sure
Signature: Sandy

Bold Jumper, we believe
Bold Jumper, we believe

Dear Sandy,
This fierce predator is a harmless Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and the green chelicerae indicate it might be a Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, a highly variable species with an extensive range.  Here is a nice image from BugGuideBugGuide also has a nice page illustrating the variability within the species.  Jumping Spiders do not spin webs to trap prey.  Instead, they use their excellent eyesight to locate prey, stalking it if necessary, and then pouncing, often from a considerable distance, when they strike.

Awesome! I was wanting to surprise my relatives when they visit that we have not just Rattle and King snakes but Tarantulas but hey, jumping spider is just as good 🙂
thanks so much for being bug friendly and educating people that bugs are good for you and not need to be squashed!
The next cool thing I found was a praying mantis on the GH door (see attached)!
With an utter invasion of lady beetles and other critters we went from aphids everywhere to ZILCH! wuhu! Even the milkweeds are almost free!
So cool to live here :)))))
You guys rock!!!!
cheers
Sandy

Letter 9 – Bold Jumper eats arachnid

 

Subject: Can you help me identify
Location: Southeastern kentucky
June 24, 2014 3:42 pm
What is this?? Looks like a spider but it has numerous antennae so I don’t know what it is
Signature: Shelby

Bold Jumper eats Arachnid
Bold Jumper eats Arachnid

Hi Shelby,
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and they are considered harmless to humans.  Based on the green chelicerae and the markings, we believe your Jumping Spider is a Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, a highly variable species which is pictured on BugGuide.  What you have mistaken for numerous antennae are actually the legs of some Arachnid prey, perhaps a Harvestman in the order Opiliones.

Letter 10 – Bold Jumper eats Fruit Fly

 

Subject: Phidippus audax
Location: Toronto, Ontario
March 15, 2016 4:56 pm
I saved this darling little guy the other day, just in time for Save a Spider Day on March 14th. I will keep him comfortable inside until it is warm enough to release him.
I located some flightless fruitflies for him tonight.
Salticidae are my favourite family of spiders and these little P. audax have so much personality!
Signature: Vanessa – Lover of all spiders

Bold Jumper eats Fruit Fly
Bold Jumper eats Fruit Fly

Dear Vanessa,
Your image of a Bold Jumper eating a Fruit Fly is quite gorgeous.  Though they are commonly called Fruit Flies, members of the genus Drosophila are actually classified as Vinegar Flies.  Because of your dedication to saving and feeding this Bold Jumper, we are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  Thanks also for drawing our attention to Save a Spider Day which was profiled on the Smithsonian Magazine site.

Letter 11 – Bold Jumper eats Moth

 

Subject: Bold Jumping Spider
Location: Apulia Station, NY
September 7, 2015 9:46 pm
Thank you for the great site! While I can’t make a donation…yet, I thought I would pass along a photo or two I took of a Bold Jumping Spider dining on a moth in our grape arbor. Your site is now my go-to site for ID of bugs and such. Great work and witty prose!
If one looks carefully one can see the fangs imbedded in the moth. Yuck and cool all at the same time.
Signature: Dave Lenweaver

Bold Jumper Eats Moth
Bold Jumper Eats Moth

Dear Dave,
Thanks for sending in your excellent images of a Bold Jumper eating a moth.

Bold Jumper eats Moth
Bold Jumper eats Moth

Letter 12 – Bold Jumper with atypical coloration

 

Beautiful little spider
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
October 1, 2011 3:25 pm
I’ve just spent about the last half hour or so observing this charming little character, which looks to be some sort of jumping spider, but is quite different from the majority of jumping spiders I see around here, which are identified on your fine site as Bold Jumping Spiders. However, I notice you’ve also said this species has a tendency to have a lot of different color morphs, so I am not sure if they are the same? The gold stripes look very metallic.
He(?) seems to have unusually mobile and dextrous pedipalps( is that the right word? Little not-quite-leg things in front of his face), which he was using to repeatedly wipe his eyes and feel the ground in front of him, which made me wonder if something( dust? Sunlight?) was causing an eye irritation. What do you think?
Signature: An Aspie Arachnophile

Bold Jumper with atypical coloration

Dear Aspie Arachnophile,
You have sure done your research.  As you indicate, the Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, has great variability in its coloration.  We did locate a photo on BugGuide that is identified as a Bold Jumper with atypical coloration that looks just like your individual.  Since you have indicated that you see Bold Jumpers, we can confirm with a degree of certainty that this is also a Bold Jumper.  Pedipalps is the proper name for the appendages you mention.  We do not believe that dust or sunlight is bothering this spider’s eyes, but the spider might have been grooming. 

Letter 13 – Bold Jumper

 

a Spider with green fangs
First, I’d like to say What a great service… this type of service should exist for everything from birds to fish and every mammal in between! I shot this little guy in central Florida at a Boy Scout Camp. He’s sitting on the edge of a horse’s water trough. Although the "fangs" appear to be teal in this shot, they were really a bit more lime colored. He’s about 3/4" to 7/8" long. You know, this is such a clear shot of his eyes (if I do say so myself) that he reminds me of the goofy evil assistant to Witchiepoo on H.R. Pufnstuf. I think his name was Seymour. If you can assist in identifying this fellow, I will pass the information on to all the Cub Scouts who saw him as well as the camp leaders so that they can, in turn, correctly inform all Scouts who pass through in the future. I thank you in advance for your time and assistance. – – Thank you,
harry

Hi Harry,
This is the Bold Jumper, Phidippus audax, one of the Jumping Spiders in the family Salticidae. Thanks for sending such a wonderful image our way.

Letter 14 – Bold Jumper

 

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.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Bold Jumper

 

November spider
Location: s indiana
November 1, 2011 11:15 pm
I have only seen these around Halloween time & the rear looks like a pumpkin with a ski mask on. Any ideas ? He acts very vicious so yes he’s in a zip lock bag
Signature: brian

Bold Jumper

Hi Brian,
Despite the diffusion because of the plastic bag, we can still identify this Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, because of the green fangs and orange spot on the abdomen.  The Bold Jumper is a highly variable species, but the green fangs are an identifying feature.  You can see additional photos of Bold Jumpers on the UC Irvine Natural History website.  Though they are quite bold and fearless, Bold Jumpers are not dangerous to humans.

Bold Jumper

Letter 2 – Bold Jumper

 

Beautiful Spider…what kind is he?
Hello,
I found this pretty spider outside our suite while we were on vacation in texas hill country…any idea what he might be? Notice the smiley face on his back…
Leah

Hi Leah,
This is a female Phidippus audax, commonly called the Bold Jumper. Jumping Spiders do not build webs and have excellent eyesight. They jump on their prey, including flies and other flying insects. See the Spider Webwatch site for more information.

Letter 3 – Blue Jumping Spider

 

Subject:  Blue jumping spider?
Geographic location of the bug:  Topeka KS
Date: 11/18/2019
Time: 05:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw a previous question about a blue jumping spider during my search. This little guy was at the storage units my mom works at. No altering to the photo at all. Not a hoax. I couldnt find much online about blue spiders. Coolest little spider I’ve seen. I think it’s a jumping spider?
How you want your letter signed:  Brandy

Jumping Spider

Dear Brandy,
This is definitely a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and it does appear to be quite bluish, but we cannot provide you with a species name.

Letter 4 – Blue Jumping Spider: Hoax or Not? You Decide

 

Subject: Blue jumping spider??
Location: Austin, TX west hills
August 6, 2014 8:44 am
A friend, an arachnophobe no less, posted a pic of a beautiful tiny blue spider that looks like a jumping spider to me but I couldn’t find another matching it’s blueness anywhere online. Is this a really rare blue jumping spider?
Signature: LauraMaura

Blue Jumping Spider???
Blue Jumping Spider???

Dear LauraMaura,
How well do you know this friend?  Is your friend a practical joker?  Excuse us for being skeptical, but we have had submissions in the past that have tried to hoodwink us.  See here and here.  We believe this is a Cardinal Jumper,
Phidippus cardinalis, a species found in Texas, and we believe that the color has been altered in photoshop.  See BugGuide for an image of the Cardinal Jumper.  We know of no electric blue Jumping Spiders in North America.  We began our investigation by cropping much closer and then lightening and cropping a second time.  The edges around the spider do not look right.

Cropped Blue Jumping Spider:  Hoax or Not???
Cropped Blue Jumping Spider: Hoax or Not???
Blue Jumping Spider has questionable edges.
Blue Jumping Spider has questionable edges.

Then we found a similar Cardinal Jumper from our archives and we created a color altered version of the file, which we present side by side for comparison.  Click on the image to enlarge.  You judge:  Hoax or Not???

Cardinal Jumper:  Real and Enhanced color
Cardinal Jumper: Real and Enhanced color

Apparently his camera phone auto-adjusted and this is the color that the spider appeared in the photo, though the photographer says it was more black than blue in person.

Thanks for that information.  The overall color on the original is not true to nature, leaning toward cyan, which might make a black spider appear blue.  Black is a common color for a Jumping Spider.  This is definitely a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, but there is not enough detail to determine the exact species.

 

 

 

Letter 5 – Bold Jumper

 

Cool Spider!
Location: St Augustine Beach, FL
November 25, 2011 11:46 am
I discovered this beautiful animal crawling up the exterior wall of my office. I’ve seen them before, however never quite this large and not this color. This spider was well behaved and seemed very healthy. Just crusing the walls looking for something to eat and leaving a single thread of web stuck to the wall wherever it had been. It must work out regularly with muscles like that! I’m calling it a Schwarzenegger Spider until you set me straight. Thanks so much for continuing to battle ignorance!
Signature: Thanks! Bill

Bold Jumper

Hi Bill,
Your Jumping Spider is a Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, and you can compare your individual to this image on BugGuide.  Though the markings can be somewhat variable, the green chelicerae or fangs are quite distinctive.  Jumping Spiders do not spin a web to snare prey.  They are hunting spiders with excellent eyesight and they stalk prey and pounce on it.  The silk line it spins will help it to return to the location it was walking on in the event its leap causes it to fall.  We believe your individual is a male as evidenced by the well developed pedipalps.

Letter 6 – Bold Jumper

 

Subject: wondering what this spider is.
Location: south central Texas
February 20, 2014 11:48 pm
I found this spider on a wall on the outside of a nearby building. Wondered what it is.
Signature: Austin

Bold Jumper
Bold Jumper

Dear Austin,
This is a harmless Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, most likely the Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, a variably colored species that is sometimes found in this black form with the red dot on the abdomen.  The green chelicerae, the fangs, are quite distinctive.  You can see this matching individual on BugGuide and BugGuide is also a nice place to read more about the species.

Thank you very much!

Letter 7 – Bold Jumper

 

Subject: Spider in Denver, CO
Location: Denver, Co
May 16, 2017 4:50 am
I found this little guy on my front porch on May 15, 2017. It was in the afternoon.
Signature: Barb in denver

Bold Jumper

Hi Barb,
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae.  The green chelicerae and markings are a good match for the Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, which is pictured on BugGuide.

Letter 8 – Bold Jumper, we believe

 

Subject: Spider in Greenhouse
Location: 78634, Texas,
April 6, 2016 8:28 am
Good day wonderful bug folks. Keep up the good work! I saw a small spider on my greenhouse frame (inside the GH) last night and tried taking a picture. It kept hiding and is upside down in the pic now since she poked out her head from the aluminum frame and I just quickly snapped a pic.
Last year we had a fist sized hole in the ground just outside the greenhouse and I always thought I saw a rather large black arachnid rush in there whenever I approached. Not sure
Signature: Sandy

Bold Jumper, we believe
Bold Jumper, we believe

Dear Sandy,
This fierce predator is a harmless Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and the green chelicerae indicate it might be a Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, a highly variable species with an extensive range.  Here is a nice image from BugGuideBugGuide also has a nice page illustrating the variability within the species.  Jumping Spiders do not spin webs to trap prey.  Instead, they use their excellent eyesight to locate prey, stalking it if necessary, and then pouncing, often from a considerable distance, when they strike.

Awesome! I was wanting to surprise my relatives when they visit that we have not just Rattle and King snakes but Tarantulas but hey, jumping spider is just as good 🙂
thanks so much for being bug friendly and educating people that bugs are good for you and not need to be squashed!
The next cool thing I found was a praying mantis on the GH door (see attached)!
With an utter invasion of lady beetles and other critters we went from aphids everywhere to ZILCH! wuhu! Even the milkweeds are almost free!
So cool to live here :)))))
You guys rock!!!!
cheers
Sandy

Letter 9 – Bold Jumper eats arachnid

 

Subject: Can you help me identify
Location: Southeastern kentucky
June 24, 2014 3:42 pm
What is this?? Looks like a spider but it has numerous antennae so I don’t know what it is
Signature: Shelby

Bold Jumper eats Arachnid
Bold Jumper eats Arachnid

Hi Shelby,
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and they are considered harmless to humans.  Based on the green chelicerae and the markings, we believe your Jumping Spider is a Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, a highly variable species which is pictured on BugGuide.  What you have mistaken for numerous antennae are actually the legs of some Arachnid prey, perhaps a Harvestman in the order Opiliones.

Letter 10 – Bold Jumper eats Fruit Fly

 

Subject: Phidippus audax
Location: Toronto, Ontario
March 15, 2016 4:56 pm
I saved this darling little guy the other day, just in time for Save a Spider Day on March 14th. I will keep him comfortable inside until it is warm enough to release him.
I located some flightless fruitflies for him tonight.
Salticidae are my favourite family of spiders and these little P. audax have so much personality!
Signature: Vanessa – Lover of all spiders

Bold Jumper eats Fruit Fly
Bold Jumper eats Fruit Fly

Dear Vanessa,
Your image of a Bold Jumper eating a Fruit Fly is quite gorgeous.  Though they are commonly called Fruit Flies, members of the genus Drosophila are actually classified as Vinegar Flies.  Because of your dedication to saving and feeding this Bold Jumper, we are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  Thanks also for drawing our attention to Save a Spider Day which was profiled on the Smithsonian Magazine site.

Letter 11 – Bold Jumper eats Moth

 

Subject: Bold Jumping Spider
Location: Apulia Station, NY
September 7, 2015 9:46 pm
Thank you for the great site! While I can’t make a donation…yet, I thought I would pass along a photo or two I took of a Bold Jumping Spider dining on a moth in our grape arbor. Your site is now my go-to site for ID of bugs and such. Great work and witty prose!
If one looks carefully one can see the fangs imbedded in the moth. Yuck and cool all at the same time.
Signature: Dave Lenweaver

Bold Jumper Eats Moth
Bold Jumper Eats Moth

Dear Dave,
Thanks for sending in your excellent images of a Bold Jumper eating a moth.

Bold Jumper eats Moth
Bold Jumper eats Moth

Letter 12 – Bold Jumper with atypical coloration

 

Beautiful little spider
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
October 1, 2011 3:25 pm
I’ve just spent about the last half hour or so observing this charming little character, which looks to be some sort of jumping spider, but is quite different from the majority of jumping spiders I see around here, which are identified on your fine site as Bold Jumping Spiders. However, I notice you’ve also said this species has a tendency to have a lot of different color morphs, so I am not sure if they are the same? The gold stripes look very metallic.
He(?) seems to have unusually mobile and dextrous pedipalps( is that the right word? Little not-quite-leg things in front of his face), which he was using to repeatedly wipe his eyes and feel the ground in front of him, which made me wonder if something( dust? Sunlight?) was causing an eye irritation. What do you think?
Signature: An Aspie Arachnophile

Bold Jumper with atypical coloration

Dear Aspie Arachnophile,
You have sure done your research.  As you indicate, the Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, has great variability in its coloration.  We did locate a photo on BugGuide that is identified as a Bold Jumper with atypical coloration that looks just like your individual.  Since you have indicated that you see Bold Jumpers, we can confirm with a degree of certainty that this is also a Bold Jumper.  Pedipalps is the proper name for the appendages you mention.  We do not believe that dust or sunlight is bothering this spider’s eyes, but the spider might have been grooming. 

Letter 13 – Bold Jumper

 

a Spider with green fangs
First, I’d like to say What a great service… this type of service should exist for everything from birds to fish and every mammal in between! I shot this little guy in central Florida at a Boy Scout Camp. He’s sitting on the edge of a horse’s water trough. Although the "fangs" appear to be teal in this shot, they were really a bit more lime colored. He’s about 3/4" to 7/8" long. You know, this is such a clear shot of his eyes (if I do say so myself) that he reminds me of the goofy evil assistant to Witchiepoo on H.R. Pufnstuf. I think his name was Seymour. If you can assist in identifying this fellow, I will pass the information on to all the Cub Scouts who saw him as well as the camp leaders so that they can, in turn, correctly inform all Scouts who pass through in the future. I thank you in advance for your time and assistance. – – Thank you,
harry

Hi Harry,
This is the Bold Jumper, Phidippus audax, one of the Jumping Spiders in the family Salticidae. Thanks for sending such a wonderful image our way.

Letter 14 – Bold Jumper

 

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.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

19 thoughts on “Bold Jumping Spider: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell”

  1. I’ve been seeing this Bold Jumping Spider a round quite a bit lately in Long Beach California. I just found one in my house trying to jump on my toes. Being a landscaper / gardener I know from experience that the bite, althow painfull and can make you sick, is not dedly to adults.

    Reply
    • Hi Deborah,
      We are surprised to hear that you have been bitten by Bold Jumpers. We haven’t heard of anyone being bitten by one in the nearly fifteen years we have been writing this column.

      Reply
  2. 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.

    Reply
  3. Hey Deborah! My son and I just spotted one in our front yard in Belmont Heights, Long Beach, CA. Cool looking spider, but I wouldn’t touch it! Thanks for the information everyone.

    Reply
  4. Do these little fellas ever live in Kentucky? I am trying to identify a spider I discovered on my hand yesterday at work, and he looked a lot like this. I wish I could have gotten a picture of him, because he was pretty cute – black and yellow and very fuzzy. Not sure what he was doing in my office, though…

    Reply
  5. I moved to Siera Vista, Arizona when I was 18 for a short time. The tiny apartment we stayed in when we first moved there was over run with tiny bright blue furry spiders. I’m scared of spiders and didn’t think to get pictures. This was 26 years ago. I’ve tried to figure out what kind of spider they were since then, but to no avail. Perhaps this is a real picture. A rare type of jumping spider? I thought at the time that it might be a baby tarantula, but I’ve since discovered blue tarantulas don’t live in the US.

    Reply
  6. I’m in eastern Colorado and I have seen 2 tiny metallic blue jumping spiders with black legs…maybe 3-5 mm in length. I’ve tried to catch one to study but no luck, they evaded me easily with there small size and of course jumping ability. I’m still looking but I believe the ones I’ve seen were different than the one in the photo, I believe the one in the photo is a cardinal jumper. It’s slightly more elongated than the ones I’m referring too.

    Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  8. This blue jumper looks a lot like the ones we get in the Carolinas. I think it’s a type of Bold Jumper like this one by Jim Petranka photographed for the Maryland Biodiversity Project. (Not my photo!) https://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/view/6484 Photos of them seem rare for some reason as I’ve found precious few online to show my students in Japan. 🙁 If anyone has more photos of the cute, blue jumpers, please share! Especially photos showing their blue faces. <3

    Reply
  9. 2007 Smiley Texas a large electric blue backed (not just mandibles) tried to climb into my car. I didn’t have anything to photo it with. These are not hoaxes! I have not seen one since. I see lots of texas audacious jumping spiders and today a red backed jumping spider

    Reply

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