The Daring Jumping Spider: Phidippus audax (73837 bytes)

The Daring Jumping Spider: Phidippus audax

By Judy Sedbrook, Colorado Master GardenerSM , Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Denver

The Daring Jumping Spider is commonly found in gardens and homes along the Front Range.   In the garden they can be found on tree trunks, fallen leaves and in ground debris. Entering homes in search of prey, they are often seen near windowsills and doorjambs.

Daring jumping spiders are large, usually growing to about -inch. Their bodies are stocky, black or brown, and hairy. TheDaring jumping spider with green metallic chelicerae (15178 bytes) abdomen is marked with a white crossband and several grey or white spots. The chelicerae are a noticeable metallic green. The name "Jumping" spider comes from the behavior of the male, who "jumps" during mating if the female approaches too quickly.

These spiders like sunshine and do their hunting during the day. They walk with an irregular gait and leap on their prey. Their excellent eyesight aids them in stalking prey, and their large appetites make them a beneficial resident of the garden. Even though they do not spin webs, jumping spiders can always be seen attached to a line of silk that protects them from falling should they miss their prey. The female uses this silk to make a retreat where she produces her egg sac and tends to it until the spiderlings hatch and disperse.

Although scary looking, these spiders are non-poisonous and are not harmful to humans.

Photos: Judy Sedbrook

 

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010