Jumping spiders, belonging to the family Salticidae, are fascinating creatures known for their incredible vision and remarkable hunting skills. These spiders come in various sizes and color patterns, making them an interesting subject for those who appreciate the diverse world of arachnids. During the day, they rely primarily on their exceptional eyesight and the ability to detect movement to locate and stalk their prey, which they capture through a swift, calculated leap1.
One example of a jumping spider species is the Menemerus semilimbatus. Researchers have discovered that these little arachnids can identify biological motion, revealing how visually adept they are among arthropods2. Moreover, some well-known jumping spider species include the bold jumper (Phidippus audax) and the white-spotted jumping spider, both easily recognizable by their distinct markings3[^5^]. These captivating creatures continue to attract the attention of scientists and nature enthusiasts alike, as they provide valuable insights into the complexity and uniqueness of the animal kingdom.
Overview of Jumping Spiders
Taxonomy and Family Salticidae
Jumping Spiders are a fascinating group of arachnids belonging to the family Salticidae. This family consists of over 6,000 species, making it the largest family of spiders. Jumping spiders are known for their remarkable agility and jumping capabilities, which they utilize for hunting and navigation.
- Jumping spiders: Can leap several times their body length
- Family Salticidae: Over 6,000 species
Jumping spiders are small creatures, with females measuring around 8-19 millimeters and males around 6-13 millimeters source. They possess a distinct eye arrangement, with four pairs of eyes, where one pair is prominently larger, offering them excellent vision.
- Size: Females 8-19mm, males 6-13mm
- Eyes: Four pairs, one pair larger
Jumping spider vs other spiders:
|Feature||Jumping Spiders||Other Spiders|
|Eye arrangement||Four pairs, one pair larger||Varies|
|Hunting technique||Jump and pounce on prey||Mostly using webs|
|Web-building||Rarely build webs||Builds webs for catching prey|
These spiders are known for their striking colors and patterns, ranging from simple blacks and whites to vibrant colors like orange and iridescent green source.
Adaptations and Abilities
Vision and Eyesight
Jumping spiders, belonging to the family Salticidae, are known for their exceptional vision, thanks to their eight eyes. Their primary pair of eyes have a highly developed retina, which enables them to see more colors and have sharper vision than most other spiders. Some studies even suggest these spiders can identify biological motion.
- Eight eyes
- Highly developed retina
- Sharp vision and color perception
Hunting Skills and Predation
Jumping spiders are known to be daytime hunters, relying mostly on their excellent vision to locate prey. They actively hunt their prey, like insects, by stalking them before attacking in a fast leap. Due to their unique hunting skills, these spiders do not rely on webs for capturing prey. Instead, their bold coloring and patterns make them efficient predators. The jumping spider family includes a diverse range of species, such as Phidippus arizonensis, which is common in Central Texas.
|Jumping Spiders||Other Spiders|
|Hunting||Rely on vision and stalking||Build webs to catch prey|
|Prey||Insects||Insects and other arthropods|
A key feature of jumping spiders is their ability to make precise jumps to capture their prey or escape predators. When jumping, they can change direction quickly and accurately. To aid their jumping, these spiders release a line of webbing for safety, enabling them to return to their starting point if needed. The jumping mechanism is primarily facilitated by their strong legs and powerful muscles.
For a brief on jumping spiders, the above sections cover their adaptations and abilities related to vision and eyesight, hunting skills and predation, and their jumping mechanism. With their unique features, jumping spiders stand out in the world of arachnids.
Habitats and Distribution
Jumping spiders can be found in various regions across the globe. They have a large distribution range that includes North America, the United States, and even remote regions like Antarctica1. Here are some examples of their habitats:
- Forests: These spiders can be found on trees and plants, where they hunt for prey.
- Deserts: In arid regions, jumping spiders inhabit shrubs and low-growing vegetation.
- Grasslands: They can be spotted on grass stems and leaves, looking for insects to eat.
- Rainforests: Jumping spiders live on the plants and tree branches in these lush environments.
Comparison Table: Jumping Spiders in Different Habitats
|Forest||Abundant prey||More predators|
|Desert||Few competitors||Scarce food resources|
|Grassland||Easy mobility||Limited hiding spots|
|Rainforest||Rich ecosystem||High competition|
Jumping spiders are versatile creatures, adapting to different settings in search of food and shelter. They are a fascinating example of nature’s adaptability.
Diet and Feeding
Jumping spiders are carnivorous creatures that mainly seek out small insects and arthropods, such as:
- Fruit flies
These spiders rely on their exceptional vision and stealthy hunting abilities. They often:
- Stalk their prey
- Pounce on the victim in a fast leap
Jumping spiders put out a line of webbing when they jump, making it easier to catch their target.
Captive Diet and Feeding
When keeping a jumping spider as a pet, its diet might include:
- Small crickets
- Fruit flies
It’s essential to maintain a clean and appropriate enclosure to ensure their overall well-being. To feed them efficiently, consider:
- Providing live prey
- Mimicking their natural hunting techniques
|Stalking||Utilizes jumping spider’s keen vision||Requires patience and observation|
|Pouncing||Allows for quick capture of prey||Demands precise timing and accuracy|
In summary, understanding the diet and feeding habits of jumping spiders will help you care for them effectively and appreciate their unique hunting abilities.
Reproduction and Lifecycle
Mating and Courtship
Jumping spiders exhibit fascinating mating rituals. Males often perform elaborate dances to attract females, including waving their legs and displaying bright colors. For example, males of the genus Habronattus have colorful displays to attract the attention of females1.
- Males: perform intricate dances
- Females: observe and choose a mate
The lifespan of jumping spiders varies by species. Many live for about one year, reaching adulthood in just a few months2. However, some species live longer, up to two years.
- Age: From a few months to two years
- Adults: Most live for one year
|Phidippus audax||1 year|
|Menemerus bivittatus||1-2 years|
Jumping Spider Species
Phidippus audax, commonly known as the bold jumping spider, is a popular species among jumping spiders. Their appearance is characterized by:
- Black body with white or sometimes iridescent blue markings
- Large, forward-facing eyes
- Body length up to 15mm long
These spiders are known for their agile hunting skills, primarily relying on their excellent eyesight to locate and stalk prey before attacking with a fast leap.
Another fascinating species is the Phidippus regius, or regal jumping spider. They feature:
- Dark body, often with a variety of colorful markings, such as oranges, yellows, or reds
- Large, forward-facing eyes similar to the Phidippus audax
- Slightly larger body size, up to 22mm for females
Both the Phidippus audax and regius can be found in various habitats, and hunt during the day, contributing to their popularity among jumping spider enthusiasts.
|Feature||Phidippus Audax||Phidippus Regius|
|Body color||Black with white/blue||Dark with various colors|
|Eyes||Large, forward-facing||Large, forward-facing|
|Max body length||Up to 15mm||Up to 22mm (females)|
It is important to note that the Phidippus audax and regius are just two examples among the 6000+ species of jumping spiders. Their exciting diversity makes jumping spiders an interesting topic for nature lovers and researchers alike.
Coloration and Patterns
Jumping spiders exhibit a wide array of colors and patterns on their bodies. Some species are known for their iridescent hues, while others display bright spots or stripes. These colorations often serve important adaptive purposes, such as camouflage or warning signals to predators.
For example, the Phidippus audax, also known as the bold jumper or white-spotted jumping spider, has a black body with distinct irregular orange to white spots on its abdomen, which can help them blend in with their surroundings.
Aesthetics and Appeal
In addition to their adaptive benefits, the colors and patterns of jumping spiders also play a role in courtship and mate selection. Males often have more vivid colorations, and these attractive features may help them secure a mate.
Features of some jumping spiders include:
- Iridescent scales
- Bright orange, red, or white spots
- Stripes on the abdomen
Comparison Table: Adaptive Coloration vs Aesthetics and Appeal
|Feature||Adaptive Coloration||Aesthetics and Appeal|
|Use of colors||Camouflage||Attract mate|
|Importance to species survival||High||Medium|
|Typical patterns and colorations||Spots and stripes||Iridescent scales|
While there is much to learn about the incredible diversity in coloration and patterns among jumping spiders, it is clear that these features serve both adaptive and aesthetic purposes in their lives.
Keeping Jumping Spiders as Pets
Benefits and Challenges
Jumping spiders make fascinating pets due to their curiosity and unique movements. They also require relatively low maintenance, making them ideal for busy pet owners. However, they may not be suitable for people who want a pet to interact with, as they are independent creatures.
Some benefits of keeping jumping spiders as pets include:
- Easy care and feeding
- Unique, captivating behaviors
- Minimal noise
Challenges of keeping jumping spiders as pets:
- Limited social interaction
- Potential escape risk
Housing and Care
When it comes to housing, jumping spiders need a secure terrarium or tank, as they can escape through small openings. The size of the enclosure should be about 10-20 times their body length, allowing for adequate movement. A healthy environment typically includes:
- Ventilation: essential for preventing mold growth and ensuring proper humidity levels
- Substrate: such as coconut fiber or peat moss for moisture retention
- Hiding spots: like pieces of bark or small plants
Jumping spiders need access to sunlight or a natural light source for proper development. Misting their enclosure regularly helps maintain proper humidity levels, and a shallow water dish provides them with a much-needed water source.
While jumping spiders can be handled, it’s essential to exercise caution, as they can be unpredictable and jumpy. They are not known to bite humans unless feeling threatened. Gently coax the spider onto your hand using a small brush or a similar tool. Keep your movements slow and steady to minimize stress on the spider and ensure a positive interaction.
Safety and Venom
Severity of Bites
- Jumping spiders are not considered dangerous to humans.
- Their bites are usually mild and cause minimal discomfort.
Jumping spiders, including species like Phidippus audax and Menemerus bivittatus, are generally harmless to humans. Although larger species can give a locally painful bite if roughly handled, they are not venomous or dangerous to our health12.
- Symptoms of a bite include: mild pain, redness, and swelling.
- These effects are temporary and should subside within a few days.
In the rare event of a jumping spider bite, the affected individual may experience mild pain, redness, and swelling at the site of the bite4. These symptoms typically last for a short period and resolve on their own.
- Clean the bite area with soap and water.
- Apply a cold compress or ice pack to reduce swelling.
If bitten by a jumping spider, it is advised to clean the affected area with soap and water and apply a cold compress or an ice pack to minimize swelling3. In most cases, no further medical treatment is required. However, if symptoms worsen or persist, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional.
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 – Jumping Spider
identify a spider
Hi, bugman. Can you help me identify this spider? I found it while watching TV, the spider was crawling on the wall above the window blinds. It’s black and the back has that 3 white spots. I need help identifying this spider.
It is a harmless Jumping Spider, family Salticidae.
Letter 2 – Jumping Spider
Creepy Bug, Spider, Tick, Ant?
Location: Bethesda, MD
September 24, 2011 2:52 pm
First of all, my fiancee makes fun of me for loving your website…silly him, when he sees what you can do!
We just bought a house in Maryland, and have been finding these bugs on our walls every few days. They are tiny, fast, and look like they would bite (humans, pets, plants?) I love bugs and took an entomology class in college, but am totally stumped. I can’t tell if it has 8 legs or if the front pair is something other than legs. I tried flushing one down the toilet and when I dumped it in, it was suddenly hanging from a string…so it seems probable that it is a spider (does that violate WTB rules?). I’m hoping you can help…
Signature: I love *most* bugs, but not this one!
This is some species of Jumping Spider, but there is not enough detail for us to discern with certainty the species. There are several possibilities in the subfamily Dendryphantinae that look similar based on photos posted to BugGuide. Jumping Spider are not harmful to humans. While we cannot force you to love things, we can encourage you to be more tolerant with these magnificent hunter that will keep flies and other unwanted insects from your house.
Letter 3 – Jumping Spider
Location: Southern California
November 20, 2011 10:48 pm
Saw this spider by our doorbell. I live in Southern California never seen a spider like this before just really curious what kind it is? hope you can help, thank you in advance! 🙂
Signature: Audrey A
Each time we receive a photo of this Southern California Jumping Spider, we go through the same quandary. Our favorite source for Los Angeles area identifications is Charles Hogue’s Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, and this species is called a Red Jumping Spider, Phidippus formosus. Our favorite internet site for identifications, BugGuide, does not recognize that as a species or it is underrepresented. BugGuide identifies a very similar looking species as Phidippus adumbratus. At any rate, this is a Jumping Spider, and they are harmless. Jumping Spiders have excellent eyesight.
Letter 4 – Jumping Spider
what is this??
I found one of these in the summer (barrie ontario), and found another one today. i put it in a glad container.. do you know what it is? are they poisonous? what would I do if I got bitten? It has HUGE eyes, and moves its head around when I move a pen around near it. What would he eat? Any info you have would be awesome.. thanks so much
This is a Jumping Spider in the Family Salticidae. These fascinating spiders do not build webs, have excellent eyesight, and pounce on their prey. All spiders have poison, but few species are actually harmful. Few will bite. Jumping Spiders are benign creatures.
Letter 5 – Jumping Spider
Spider with blue fangs!!
Here are 2 photos of a spider we found in our backyard. We are in Vacaville, CA (northern). One of the pics shows it’s turquoise fangs and the other shows it’s back. It’s about 3/4 of an inch long. Can you identify it? THANKS!
This is a Jumping Spider in the Family Salticidae. We haven’t the time now to research an exact species. If you find the information, please let us know.
I asked a professor at some college in Canada and he told me it was a Phidippus audax. I have included a link to a web page about this spider.
Letter 6 – Jumping Spider
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.
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.
Letter 7 – Jumping Spider
Hairy Black Spider With Fluorescent Green Fangs!
This tiny but scary looking black spider with green fangs lunged at me while I was taking it’s picture. It isn’t that big, I’d say about the size of a dime. I found it under a foam swimming pool raft that was hanging over my fence. I live in Northern NJ and I haven’t seen many spiders like this in the area. I’m guessing it’s a jumping spider based on it’s size and the fact that it JUMPED at me!!! Our first child is on his/her way; do I need to worry about this spider being poisonous?
Cool site, keep it up!
p.s., I have high-res (3MP) photos if you want them!
Thanks for the beautiful photos of a Jumping Spider from the family Salticidae. This is a large family. The spiders are generally small, hairy and often iridescent or brightly colored. They do not build webs, but leap at their prey. Your action photo is awesome. Perhaps your spider thought you were a fly. There are reports of bites, but they are mild. With infants, though, the bite could be more serious. Spiders are not inclined to bite though unless provoked. Thank you for the offer of higher resolution photos, but we generally post very low resolution images to keep the download time on the site more manageable. Also, thank you for the compliments.
Letter 8 – Jumping Spider
What the heck kind of spider is this?!
Location: Santa Monica, CA
October 27, 2010 12:08 pm
I found it in my bathroom the other day and have him trapped in a jar now. Last year, a spider bit me in my apartment (same time of year) and I had to go on antibiotics. So, now I’m really curious what type of spiders hang out in my place!
You have nothing to fear. This is a harmless Jumping Spider in the genus Phidippus which is represented in our archives from a letter earlier this month. Charles Hogue in his book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin has identified this species as Phidippus formosus, but that species is not represented on BugGuide, which is highly unusual. Bugguide has a letter from Pasadena with a photo of Phidippus adumbratus that looks identical to the individual in your photo. We are not entirely certain why BugGuide does not recognize Phidippus formosus as a species.
Letter 9 – Jumping Spider
I found this spider in Northern Utah. I have lived here for 30 years and have never seen a fuzzy, yellow-backed, yellow-fanged spider before. Nor has anyone else I have asked. I have attached some photos. The spider had many babies in another section of this plastic cover. Any information you have is appreciated. Thanks,
This is a Jumping Spider, probably Phidippus apacheanus according to some images on BugGuide. This is a yellow color variation of a variable species. Jumping Spiders in the family Salticidae are active hunting spiders that do not build webs. They have excellent eyesight. They are not a threat to you.
Letter 10 – Jumping Spider
Velvet Ant… Not!!!
I loved reading all of the entries on your web page on velvet ants. I was probably in 4th grade, (I won’t tell you how many years ago that was)… and I came across what I now believe to be one of the dreaded Cow Killers. We’d been camping near Mt Palomar in SoCal, and while walking along the dusty road to the little store, I’d stepped on this weird looking bug. Having lifted my foot, I noticed my weight had no effect on this guy… so being the kid that I was, I tired unsuccessfully several times to turn him into miniature road-kill. I couldn’t do it, no matter how hard I tried to stomp him into mush, he (or actually, she) would just get up and start walking again. I was so intrigued by this little gal, I picked her up and carried her with me to the store, where the owner gave me a small jar to put her in. Well, somewhere between the car and home, she escaped, probably though one of the air holes I’d put in the lid. I did later learn in an encyclopedia (no World Wide Web back in 1965) that this was a velvet ant, and as a delicacy to tarantulas, they have a very hard armored exoskeleton. Apparently, I’m very lucky I didn’t get stung. The purpose for my note today, is that I saw the attached photo, and memories being what they are, I instantly thought of the velvet ant again. Well, I realized after a mental refresh, and visiting your web site — that this picture is not even close to being an ant. But, I thought I’d share this with you anyway. Here’s what is NOT a Velvet Ant… but a jumping spider.
Thanks for your anecdotes and also your Jumping Spider photo. We believe it is Phidippus cardinalis which can be found on BugGuide.
Letter 11 – Jumping spider
Any idea what this one is? It jumps really far. and had iridescent green eyes. I tried to pick it up with a piece of paper and it put its front legs up in the air.
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae. Without a location, we will not even attempt to identify the species.
Letter 12 – Jumping Spider
One of the people that I work with here in San Pedro,Ca. brought me this weird looking beast and with the help of your website I was able to identify it as a Jumping Spider. Your website is a great resource for those of us that enjoy photographing the wonders of the insect world. I noticed that your description of these spiders says that they do not use webs. This guy had spun some webbing and was hanging out there. Do they just not use webs to trap their prey or do I have a confused psycho spider? Just curious about this behavior.
We believe your jumper is Phidippus johnsoni based on images posted to BugGuide. This species as well as other Jumping Spiders have highly variable markings. Regarding the silk production, all spiders can produce silk. While Jumping Spiders do not spin a web for catching food, they still spin silk. Jumping Spiders spin silk as a kink of lifeline. When they jump, the silk acts like a tether. Your spider is in an enclosed location, and is probably spinning silk as it wanders aimlessly trying to find a way out, hence the tangled web.
Letter 13 – Jumping Spider
I recently found the spider in my enclosed porch in detroit mich. I have tried to find out what the is to no avail. If you can tell me what it is and if it poisonous I would appreciate it as my son wants to keep it as a pet. Thank you
It is a harmless jumping spider of the family Salticidae. It looks like Phidippus audax, which is common and widely distributed throughout the east and as far west as Texas and Colorado. These are very active spiders that hunt down their prey. They do not build permanent webs. They have excellent eyesight. They will jump on flies from quite a distance. It should make an excellent pet.
Thank you for the Excellent advice. My son will be very pleased that I will let him Keep his pet.
Letter 14 – Jumping Spider
I have these Spiders in my Garage. Last year my wife flipped out and killed one that was between 1/2" and 3/4". All the ones that we have seen since have bee half that size. We live in the pacific Northwest. If it helps any, these spiders are very aware. I had one on the hood of my car while I was waxing it. I tried to sneak up on it. As I got about 4 feet away it turned towards and me and reared up it’s head as if it had no fear of me whatsoever and wanted me to know it.
You have a species of Jumping Spider from the Family Salticidae. They are small, often colorful, do not build webs but stalk their prey, and are harmless to humans. They have excellent eyesight and have very rapid movements.
Letter 15 – Jumping Spider
What’s that spider?
I looked though your spider pics and couldn’t find this one so I’m sending a couple of pictures. This guy had the most impressive fangs I’ve ever seen. I found him drowned in a dish at a garage sale and bought the dish to get the spider. Crazy huh? So how bad would it hurt to be bitten by one of these?
Kay Herndon / Spicewood, Texas
I love your garage sale story. You have a species of Jumping Spider from the family Salticidae. It is one of the Phidippus species. Many of the Jumping Spiders are brightly colored, and there is a group that has flourescent green fangs like your photo. We haven’t heard of anyone being bitten by a Jumping Spider but we supppose the possibility does exist.
Letter 16 – Jumping Spider
I was woken up abruptly this morning by my wife who wanted to warn me that there was a spider stalking my pillow. I captured it and took some pictures for you. I would like to know what it is. Any time I see a spider which doesn’t look like some relative of the prolific wolf spider, I always want to know what it is 😉 I live in Reno Nevada. Some description: This spider seems to be unable to climb glass, unlike most I find around here. It’s very timid despite being found on my pillow while I was sleeping. It races to the other side of the glass any time I want to take a picture of it. Thus the poor quality images. It’s a bit smaller than a dime, and is extremely fast. It seems to teleport around occasionally, however it started moving slower once it was in the glass for awhile. The two fangs in the front appear to be white and fuzzy. Also, I could have been hallucinating, but the grey stripe on it’s back looked red to me when I first caught him. looks very similar to a small version of the spider that was sucking Sheppard’s neck off in Stargate atlantis to me. 😀 Maybe that’s why it was on my pillow. Close call, phew.
Nice letter. You have a Jumping Spider from the Family Salticidae. Like Wolf Spiders, they are hunting spiders. Jumping Spiders are diurnal hunters that do not build a web. They depend upon their excellent eyesight to spring upon flies and other insects they encounter in their wanderings. They are harmless.
Excellent! Do they really change color or was I hallucinating? He’s very happy to know this information, as I was able to release him outside on bail now that I know he’s not some kind of mutant killer spider. Also, I have some more pictures I thought you might like. I found this guy a few years ago when I lived in northern california (Ukiah to be specific). It was a very frightening experience. (It looks very vicious.) I’d never seen a spider that big other than a tarantula. So I did some research, It looked like some type of Argiope from Europe, all the USA types I found didn’t even look close. I don’t think they’re native to that area of california, either that or they don’t like the limelight at all. I only saw one of them in 16 years of living there. It was interesting to find out that they are the real “Garden Spiders.” We always had always thought of Garden Spiders as these little spiders that sort of look like wolf spiders but are completely white. Unlike the wolf spiders, the white “Garden spiders” liked to dangle from the ceiling inside the house and scare you if they managed to get in. (I’d put my finger up and steal their tether line and dangle them about and take them back outside. Any idea what the white ones were if they aren’t garden spiders?) So are you an entomologist, or just a like bugs?
Hi Again Sha,
This is a Banded Argiope, Argiope trifasciata. It is native. The white spiders you ask about are probably Cream House Spiders. Don’t tell anyone, but we are not entomologists. This site started as a lark and now is out of control. It takes many hours of research for some postings, hence the lagtime between receipt and answering.
Letter 17 – Jumping Spider
What Kind of Spider is this? See picture
This was taken in Edmonton, Alberta Canada – about the size of a dime to a nickel. I reviewed the photos on your website and I did not see this kind of spider. Thanks
This is one of the Jumping Spiders in the family Salticidae.
Letter 18 – Jumping Spider
I found this hyper spider in my apt. which is next to a creek in dallas, tx. The spider got defensive of the camera light, it waved the two front legs up high then lunged at me.
It is difficult to give you a species name based on your photo, but the behavior you describe is consistent with Jumping Spiders, Family Salticidae. They do not built webs, have good eyesight, stalk and leap on prey, move briskly, and are harmless. They are usually small spiders. Waving the front legs up in the air is a common mating position as well. Were you enticing that spider?
Thanks bunches for checking out my picture, i’ve been trying to capture more images of various spiders that wonder in but they’re all so hyper i can’t get a clear shot. By the way, that was so freaking funny finding out that it was a mating position, i guess the blood red hair does it since many creatures react to me in such a way.
Letter 19 – Jumping Spider
Great shot of jumping spider
Dear Bug Man,
I Found a spider I have not seen before in the yard. I believe he is a jumping spider similar to the one in your site. His legs look furrier and lighter. He was 1/4 the size of a penny or smaller and zoomed side to side to avoid my foot. One strange thing, there was a 2nd one exactly like this one about 1′ from him (or her?) He seems to have been stepped on a bit and was not moving. The living spider would not leave him. He ran from me, but raced back to stay within a foot of the other one. He kept his eyes on the dead spider. I don’t think he killed the other spider, but he surely would not leave him or turn away from him despite the danger of my camera near. Due to my dogs roaming around, I put both spiders in a jar and relocated them over the small wall to a safe area that has no human traffic. And last I checked, he is still near his friend who has expired.
Yes, this is a Jumping Spider. Many spiders in the genus Phidippus have a similar coloration. Here is a great site on North American Jumping Spiders.
Letter 20 – Jumping Spider
1CM RED-BACKED SPIDER
Can you tell me what kind this is? Oceanside, Southern CA. September, 2005 – thanks.
This is some species of Jumping Spider, Salticidae.
Letter 21 – Jumping Spider
I found this thing hanging from its string, over my bed. Here he is. He’s about the size of a nickel. Do you know what it is? I absolutely LOVE your website,
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae. Argiopes are sometimes called Writing Spiders, but this is the first time we have seen a Reading Spider.
Letter 22 – Jumping Spider
Hi There Bugman !
This is a really cool and impressive site, I find myself browsing it for hours ! I would like to submit this photo of a beautiful spider i found jumping around the house. I believe it is a House Anderson, Male? Its actual size is about 1cm or so(body estimate). Kindly correct me if i’m wrong.
This is a Jumping Spider in the Family Salticidae, but we cannot tell the species. Nor are we familiar with the term House Anderson, so we can’t comment.
Letter 23 – Jumping Spider
can you tell me any thing about this please,,found in scrub area,,,so Portland Maine
This is a Jumping Spider in the Family Salticidae. They are usually small, have great eyesight, and stalk prey during the daylight hours. They hunt and do not form a web to trap prey.
Letter 24 – Jumping Spider
First of all, I want to thank you for such a remarkable site that not only strives to provide accurate information but beautiful photos as well. Thanks to your site, my 5 year old daughter is coming full circle from screaming about a mere gnat buzzing around her to giggling with delight upon discovering some "scary but interesting bug" on her swingset. This spider showed up in our Los Angeles home and I still have yet to be able to identify it. It wasn’t all that large, perhaps the length of my tip of my pinkie finger if that. Lots of fine hairs on the legs and body too. Thanks again for your wonderful site!
Thanks for resending the photo. Our guess was correct. This is a Phidippus Jumping Spider, probably Phidippus formosus. Jumping Spiders have excellent eyesight, and do not build webs. They stalk and leap at their prey. They will often follow the movement of a human, constantly turning to face the much larger being.
Letter 25 – Jumping Spider
Jumping Spider ( I Think) !!
I first must tell you how much I appreciate your site. I’ve always been one of those people who feared bugs – and between your site & a friend whose father was an entomologist, I’m slowly starting to appreciate the little creatures rather than fearing them – whcih is a VERY good thing, considering that we recently moved to a house surrounded by close to 40 acres of woodland in Memphis, Tenn, USA. Obviously, I’ve been seeing a LOT of odd bugs – inside and outside the house. You have a few pictures of this particular spider on your site, but I didn’t see any as clear as this one – which I tentatively identified as a Jumping Spider – and most likely, one of the ground dwelling ones. He/She seemed to enjoy having it’s picture taken, as it held still long enough for me to snap several pictures. I caught it in a jelly jar, and once I took all the pictures, I released it back to the outdoors. Enjoy, and I hope you can use this picture!!
This is a Jumping Spider, but we are not sure what species.
Letter 26 – Jumping Spider
January 6, 2010
Dear Bugman: I sent these photos to you on 11/8/09. I still hold out hope that you willl spidentify this lovely creature who was living in our shower, even though I now have a pretty good idea that she is a jumping spider. I carried her out to the garden back in November; we saw her again yesterday on the outside of our window. Her back was much redder but she was as large as ever, about 3/4″ long. She is the CUTEST spider I could ever imagine! What type of jumping spider is she?
In Love With a Jumping Spider
Los Angeles, CA
Dear In Love With a Jumping Spider,
We don’t believe we are able to conclusively identify this Jumping Spider to the species level, but it does resemble an image of Phidippus asotus that is posted to BugGuide. Your original letter came while we were struggling to complete our manuscript, and now we are attempting to meet our deadline for manuscript revisions. We wish the photos were of higher resolution. Perhaps one of our readers can verify this identification. The enthusiasm of your letter is refreshing.
Letter 27 – Jumping Spider
Tutelina elegans jumping spider with crazy double mohawk!
August 18, 2010
Ed. Note: No location provided
Location: Oklahoma we believe
I thought you might like these pictures of what I believe to be a male Tutelina elegans. There has been an abundance of jumping spiders in Oklahoma this year, but this is the only male T. elegans I’ve found. This little guy had one of the craziest hairdos I’ve ever seen on a jumper! In addition to his double mohawks he had tufts of black hair on his front legs. He was very cooperative when I photographed him and I wish I’d been able to get a better shot of his awesome hairdo. I also have some pictures of what I’m pretty sure are female T. elegans if you want to see them. Thanks for the great site,
Thanks for sending us your Jumping Spider photos and we agree that this does appear to be a photo of a male Tutelina elegans based on images posted to BugGuide and this description: “Tutelina similis is very similar, but adult male elegans has a black tuft of hairs on tibia I, and adult female elegans has a white basal band around the abdomen.(1) In my experience with female elegans, identifiable marks begin to show at the antepenultimate instar. Earlier instars of either species, which appear gray in color, probably cannot be identified beyond genus.“ The black tufts of hair on the tibia are quite visible in one of your photos in particular. We suspect that this sighting was in Oklahoma like your numerous previous submissions, though since you did not use our standard form for this submission, there is no location indicated.
Sorry about that; the jumping spider was found in central Oklahoma. Thanks for the conformation on the I.D.
Letter 28 – Jumping Spider
odd colored spider
Location: santa fe nm
September 28, 2010 7:41 pm
We have recently moved to santa fe nm, and have found a few of these spiders in our yard. They are hairy black. With a smooth red abdomen. They are about the size of a jumping spider
Signature: sean j hizny
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, possibly a male Phidippus ardens, which we found pictured on BugGuide.
Letter 29 – Jumping Spider
Location: Los Angeles, CA
October 6, 2010 12:38 pm
This red/black spider was busily walking around the tips of Canna leaves and dragging a silk line after it. It must be very aware of its environment because it noticed me from relatively far away, stopped what it was doing and then even turned to face the camera some two feet away (see the first picture). Any closer and it’d go hide behind the leaf.
Based on the large front eye pair and its behavior, I think this is a Jumping Spider, is that correct ?
You are absolutely correct that this is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae. It is in the genus Phidippus, and based on BugGuide, it is in the insignarius group. It looks nearly identical to a specimen from nearby Pasadena that was identified on BugGuide as being Phidippus adumbratus, however, it also looks nearly identical to a picture in Charles Hogue’s Insects of the Los Angeles Basin that is identified as Phidippus formosus that is not represented on BugGuide. Perhaps there was a taxonomy change. Hogue provides this information: “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. Because they are so active, they often wander into houses, where they attract immediate attention (and cause undue concern) with their bright color and rapid movements.” Your photos are wonderful, and they nicely show the typical eye pattern of Jumping Spiders.
Letter 30 – Jumping Spider
What’s this bug?
Location: El Cajon, Ca 92021
March 18, 2011 6:13 pm
Weirdest bug we’ve seen in our backyard.
Do you know what it is?
Blue eyed spider? (I totally made that up)
Your lucky reader.
Signature: Dana Law
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae. What you have mistaken for blue eyes are actually the chelicerae or mouth parts.
Letter 31 – Jumping Spider
Subject: What kind of spider
Location: Denver Colorado
September 30, 2012 11:26 am
Just curious as to what Kind of spider this was. It was black with orange spots. Seen in Denver Colorado September 28th.
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae.
Letter 32 – Jumping Spider
Subject: What kind of spider is this?
Location: Arches National Park, Utah
November 6, 2012 4:29 am
To whom it may concern;
I am very curious as to what kind of spider we had on our tent while we were camping at Arches National Park in Utah.
This is a Jumping Spider in the genus Phidippus, and we believe we have come up with a pretty good visual match to Phidippus carneus based on this photo posted to BugGuide. Jumping Spiders are harmless spiders with excellent eyesight. They stalk and pounce upon their prey rather than building a web to snare their prey.
Letter 33 – Jumping Spider
Location: LaMarque, Tx
November 15, 2012 9:16 pm
What kind of spider is this?
Signature: Thanks in advance, Texas Finest
Dear Texas Finest,
We browsed quickly through the Jumping Spiders in the family Salticidae that are represented on BugGuide, and we could not find the species identity of this Jumping Spider.
Update: December 6, 2012
We recently received a comment that this resembles a male Hentzia grenada which is pictured on BugGuide. According to BugGuide, Hentzia grenada is found in “peninsular Florida” and no mention is made of Texas.
Letter 34 – Jumping Spider
Subject: bug found in northern Virginia
Location: Northern Virginia (Gainesville)
May 14, 2013 1:54 pm
What is this gross bug?
This is a harmless Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and we were unable to locate a definite match in our quick scan of Bugguide, however, we believe it is a member of the subfamily Dendryphantinae (see BugGuide), and we believe this is a male spider.
Thank you so very much! Very good to know, and I very much appreciate your service!
Letter 35 – Jumping Spider
Location: Helena, Montana
June 13, 2014 12:42 am
For some reason, there seems to be an abundance of spiders in our home this Spring/Summer. We did a super deep spring cleaning, and now, there are spiders everywhere! We’ve already killed three black widows this week. One of these is aggressive. I keep finding them in curtains, folded laundry, closets, etc. I think it’s two different spiders due to the size difference. Out of instinct(I have two young children) I kill them ASAP, but I have to wonder, what are these. The one that I sent two pictures of intrigued me. The body reminded me of a shell, almost. The colour was also odd. Black and white with a striped pattern… Last time I saw a spider even similar to this one, I was told it was poisonous.
The pretty striped spider is a harmless Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae. We haven’t the time to do additional research at this time as we are in the process of postdating identification requests to go live in our absence as we are leaving for holiday in a few hours.
Letter 36 – Jumping Spider
Subject: what is this spider?
Location: Los Angeles, California
February 12, 2015 3:20 pm
I discovered this spider on my stairs inside my house. I saved it and got it in a container and took it
outside. It jumps. The size of a finger nail.
This is some species of Jumping Spider in the genus Phidippus, possibly Phidippus adumbratus. Because of your kindness in rescuing this lovely Jumping Spider, we are tagging this submission with the Bug Humanitarian Award.
Letter 37 – Jumping Spider
Subject: Black/white Hairy Spider
March 16, 2015 4:15 pm
This little dude was in my garden today. Mostly black and hairy —with a little bit of white. Looks like fake white eyes on the back. Large green fangs?
1. What is it? 2. Is it poisonous?
This jumping spider in the family Salticidae is a Bold Jumper, Phidippus audax, a conclusion we reached by matching your excellent images to this posting on BugGuide. There is also an excellent page on BugGuide that depicts the variability within the species. Jumping Spiders are considered harmless to humans, though a large individual might bite. Most all spiders are venomous, but very few are dangerous to humans because the venom is either not lethal to humans or the fangs (chelicerae) are too weak to break human skin. Like other Jumping Spiders, this Bold Jumper does not spin a web to snare its prey. Jumping Spiders have excellent eyesight and they hunt their prey by jumping, often from great distances. One final note, your dude is a dudette.
Letter 38 – Jumping Spider
Subject: TRACHELAS SPIDER?
Location: Stockton, CA
August 14, 2016 12:21 pm
Can’t find anything quite like this online.
In my house, right next to where I am immobilized with an ankle fracture.
No, I didn’t kill it.
1) White pedipalps (or are those eggs or something else?)
2) Marked banding on legs
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, but we do not know the species. If you need an exact species name, you can try browsing through the postings on BugGuide.
Letter 39 – Jumping Spider
Subject: Please help identify this bug
Location: Northern Virginia
April 1, 2017 7:57 am
We found this in our bed and although I think it is a spider, I just want to make sure it’s nothing that we should be concerned about. Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.
This is a harmless Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae. Jumping Spiders do not build webs to snare prey. They use their excellent vision to stalk prey, often pouncing from a great distance. You have nothing to fear.
Letter 40 – Jumping Spider
Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Interior house. Summit NJ.
May 3, 2017 6:14 am
Have been doing Tenno action a annokd neglected home. Find bugs everywhere. Trying to “close up all the crawl spaces” but can’t seem to get to them fast enough. And have to replace windows too so who only knows where they are coming from. Have two children and concerned some may. Be harmful. Here is a pic of one. Can you identify? Thanks for your help.
Signature: Thanks, Kerrie
This is a harmless Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae.
Letter 41 – Jumping Spider
Subject: what kind of jumping spider is this?
Geographic location of the bug: Mt Hamilton, Santa Clara County, CA
Time: 10:33 PM EDT
Found this cutie on my car after a stop near a marshy lake in July. Pretty sure it’s a jumping spider (they have the BEST faces!), but one I’m not familiar with. What species is it? Male or female?
How you want your letter signed: JD Moore
Dear JD Moore,
This is a really good looking Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, but unfortunately, we don’t recognize the species. Perhaps one of our readers will write in with a comment. We are postdating your submission to go live to our site at the end of the month when our editorial staff will be away on holiday.
Letter 42 – Jumping Spider
Subject: Looks like a transformer
Geographic location of the bug: Broomfield Colorado
Time: 08:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: This little creep was on the hood of my car. Never seen anything like it! Just curious. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed: Becky in CO
Because they are hunting spiders that do not build webs to snare prey, Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae have excellent eyesight, and they frequently track the movements of humans in their vicinity, making them among the most personable spiders in the world. The metallic green chelicerae or fangs of this individual are quite striking, leading us to believe this is probably Phidippus audax, the Bold Jumper.
Letter 43 – Jumping Spider and Black & Yellow Argiope
Spider identification request
Hi. Could you tell me what types of spiders these are? The first two pictures are of the same spider, and the third picture (the one on the plant) is a different spider. I think the former is a jumping spider of some sort (it’s about 1/4 inch in size) and that the latter is a Black and Yellow Argiope, but I’m not sure. I live in the Poconos, about 45 miles east of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Thanks!
Great job on the identifications Ben. Would you be interested in helping us answer our questions? We are currently swamped. I love the fluorescent jaws on your Jumping Spider and the Argiope is always an impressive specimen.
Letter 44 – Jumping Spider and Prey from Costa Rica
beautiful spider and prey
I live in Costa Rica. The photo attached was taken one morning when I found this lovely ruby-eyed white spider munching on a pretty butterfly. Can you identify either or both?
Without doing perhaps hours of research, the best we can give you is a very general identification. The spider is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae. They do not build webs and stalk prey, pouncing for the kill. The butterfly is a Brush-Footed Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae.
Letter 45 – Jumping Spider associated with Christmas Tree
Subject: Bugs on the ceiling above the Christmas Tree
Location: BC, Canada
December 11, 2016 10:36 am
We live in the Pacific Northwest. We cut our tree down a week ago. Today we woke up to 8 of these guys all on the ceiling in close proximity to the tree. Did they come from the tree? If so what are they and what do we do abou it? Thank you
Though theoretically, after cutting a tree it is no longer alive, we still feel comfortable stating whenever living plants are brought indoors, be they Christmas trees, fresh fruits and vegetables, or flowers cut from the garden, chances are quite good you will transport insects, arthropods or other small creatures with the plants. Your visitor appears to have 8 legs, and we suspect it is a harmless Jumping Spider that was probably quite content searching for prey on the living tree, though it is now quite confused to find itself in a relatively prey-free environment.
Thank you. Was very worried when there was suddenly 8 that we had a bigger problem! Thanks so much.
Letter 46 – Jumping Spider captures Fly in Mexico
an amazing little spider holding on to a HUGE fly
I am the person from Mexico who sent you pictures of a sulfur butterfly and several snout butterflies last year. This time I am simply giving these new pictures as a gift to you. I found this in my garden yesterday and thought it was rather amazing. This tiny spider managed to catch such a huge fly, all on its own! I heard a buzzing sound coming from the plants nearby, and I thought it might be a bumblebee, so I went to see; But what I found instead, was a huge fly trying to get away from this tiny little spider, who was trying very hard to hold on to a leaf as this fly tried to buzz away. Eventually it lost grip and both insects fell down, after about 30 seconds of struggle, but they fell softly on other leaves from a different plant, and from there I picked them up with my hand (by gripping one of the fly’s legs), and placed them on a surface for photographing. For a while I thought this huge fly was going to fly away even with the spider still attached! The spider was solidly attached to this fly all of the time, without letting go at any time. For the next 7 minutes or so, the fly stopped buzzing and simply stood there, still standing upright, looking in different directions occassionally, and acting in a seemingly very unconcerned way. Then it finally succumbed to the spider and stopped all major movements, and collapsed (although it still continued moving very slowly). At no moment did the spider show any fear for my presence. After the fly collapsed I took them back to the leaves, and I let the spider grip on to a leaf. But even though it was holding on with all/most of its legs, it was still very slowly being pulled down by the fly’s weight! So I gave it a hand and pushed the fly from the bottom up carefully, and this helped it place the fly in a much better place. That was quite an experience! I never thought such a tiny spider would be able to catch such a huge prey, although it definitely was having MAJOR problems doing so. Regards,
What a fascinating account of a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, capturing a fly. Jumping Spiders do not make a web. They have excellent eyesight and they leap onto their prey.