Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jumping Spiders

A few months ago I posted about some Jumping Spiders, Phidippus audax, that had produced nursery webs in the folds of my marking flags. I didn’t want to disturb the clutches, so I stuck the flags at the edge of the field near the barn to give the spiders a chance to hatch and go off on their own. Yesterday I decided to bring the flags in, but found that they were not deserted.

The first flag I checked had a spider looking out at me. Just how long do these spiders stay in one place?

I found some of the flags to be unoccupied. Maybe the spiders were just out hunting and would soon be returning.

Several of the flags contained single specimens of a smaller brown colored jumping spider. I’m wondering if this could be an immature audax.

A couple of the flags contained adult audax. The green area below the eyes is the iridescence of the chelicera, the parts to which the fangs are attached.

Sunlight backlighting the red plastic flag gives the spider a menacing look by drawing attention to the hairy body and the curved fangs. It’s unfair to make this guy look threatening, when the species is just plain cute. The way they come out to investigate my presence reminds me of inquisitive little monkeys. If they could be grown to the size of a house cat, I’m sure they would be a very popular pet.


  1. Wow, natural decorations for Halloween! ;)

    Seriously, great pictures once again.

  2. Hi Steve..I scrolled down without looking and you know why....horrors!!
    I bet they are good pictures and a nice write up !!: }

  3. I am quite fond of jumping spiders. Now that you mention it, they are reminiscent of little monkeys! The idea of a cat sized one as a pet was appealing until I wondered what it would eat ...

  4. Thanks, Lois. As a stuffed toy, I think these would be just as popular as a Teddy Bear.

    Hi, grammie g. I did show the cutest of all the spiders. It’s sort of like a fluffy kitty.

    Hi, Wilma. I’m assuming you would feed them Spider Chow and they would share the cat’s water bowl.

  5. Amazing iridescence! I always learn something when I check your blog!

  6. Hi, Anne. I'm glad I can find something interesting to share.

  7. I'm trying to get my brain around having one as a pet. As long as it didn't sink its fangs into my arm, I guess it would be OK. They are definitely beautiful- something that isn't easy to see until you can enlarge a photo like you have done here.

  8. Well, Mike, I guess its quality as a pet would depend on what you were used to. I care for my daughter's cat while she's away at school and that cat delights in biting me for no apparent reason. I've never received an unprovoked spider bite, so a giant spider might be a safer pet for me.