- Common Name(s): Jumping Spiders
- Order: Araneae
- Family: Salticidae
- Common Species: Phidippus audax
- Commonly Confused With: Other Spiders
How to Identify?
Jumping spiders come in a very wide variety of colors. The abdomen (back section of a spider) and cephalothorax (front section of a spider) can be the same color but the two segments can differ as well. The body of a jumping spider varies in size depending on the species. Their bodies are typically between 4.8-18 millimeters in length. The best key to identifying jumping spiders is their eyes.
Jumping spiders have four pairs of eyes that appear to be in a mostly straight line across their head. The outermost pair of eyes can be found almost at the top of the spider’s head. The next pair of eyes are very small and may not be visible when viewing the spider from the front. Following that is a slightly larger pair of eyes and in the middle is the largest pair. Often, when viewing this spider from the front, they appear to only have four eyes total.
Where do they live?
These spiders are most often found outside of the house. Compared to many of the other spiders covered on our website, jumping spiders are unique because they are hunting spiders not web-dwelling spiders. They live in tall grass, under rocks, and other safe areas of vegetation outdoors.
What do they eat?
Jumping spiders are predators of insects and other arthropods (insects, spiders, crustaceans, millipedes, etc). Since they are hunting spiders they will go find and capture prey. They have even been known to eat small vertebrates (frogs, lizards, etc.).
What do they do?
Jumping Spiders have no desire to come inside the home unless you have a pest problem indoors. They would much rather be outdoors finding and killing insect pests. Many people can be intimidated by them because they are very inquisitive and will jump towards and examine humans and their belongings. If a jumping spider happens to bite you it is nothing more than a mild stinging/burning sensation (unless you happened to be allergic to the spider or if the bite got infected).
Since jumping spiders are hunters they need really good eyesight to find and catch prey; they have some of the best eyesight of all spider species. They also have very unique mating rituals/dances. Search the Australian Peacock Spider’s mating dance to see just what I mean!
- Lietzenmayer, L., Taylor, L., & University of Florida-Entomology and Nematology Department. (2018, March). Dimorphic jumper. Retrieved October 31, 2018, from http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/URBAN/SPIDERS/dimorphic_jumper.html;
- Savransky, N., & Brondstatter, J. S. (n.d.). Bold Jumping Spider. Retrieved October 31, 2018, from http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/Spiders_Savransky_Suhd_Brondstatter/Pages/Salticidae_Phidippus_audax.html;
- Edwards G. B. & University of Florida-Entomology and Nematology Department. (2000, September). Regal Jumping Spider. Retrieved October 31, 2018, from http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/regal_jumping_spider.htm
Author: G. Wyatt West–A University of Georgia Graduate of Entomology
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