Bold Jumper Spider  (Phidippus audax)

Quick Look Pest Stats

Color: Black with white or orange spots on top of abdomen.

Legs: 8

Shape: Small, compact & hairy

Size: 1/8″ – 3/4″ 

Antennae: No

Region: Throughout the U.S.

 

The jumping spiders, as a rule, are relatively small, compact hunting spiders. They have very good eyesight and can pounce on their victims from a great distance. 

Habitat

In contrast to many other hunting spiders, jumping spiders require daylight to hunt their prey. They can be found on windowsills, tree trunks, and deck railings; under stones; and in other locations during daylight hours. These spiders do not build webs to catch prey, but they do build protective webs.

Food

The bold jumper eats a range of insects and other spiders.

Biology

These spiders overwinter as nearly mature, or penultimate, individuals. In April or May, they finish maturing and mate, with eggs being deposited in June and July. The female suspends her eggs in a silken sheet within her retreat. Reproductive females will produce as many as eight eggs sacs per year with each egg sac containing from 30-170 eggs.  Jumping spiders can also be brown, tan or gray in color with pale white, gray, yellow, red, blue or green markings. Adult jumping spiders range in size from about 1/8-3/4” (4-18 mm) and are typically covered in dense hairs or scales that are brightly colored or iridescent. Their front legs are usually thicker and somewhat longer than their other legs. The males have “eyebrows,” or tufts of hairs over the eyes. Occasionally, white bands extend back from the rear pair of eyes. The eyes located at the center of the front end of the cephalothorax are by far the largest and aid the spiders in capturing prey.

Threat

The chances of being bitten by P. audax are slim to none. These spiders appear to be fearful of humans. Their habit of hunting during the daytime helps reduce the number of human bites. Information concerning the effect of these bites suggests pain, itching, swelling, and redness with a duration of 1 to 2 days.

Prevention

Prevention of the bold jumper spider begins with making sure the population of insects that serves as food for the spiders is kept to a minimum. Make sure all holes, cracks and gaps in the home’s doors, windows and foundation are properly sealed to prevent entrance into the home’s living space. In addition, removing ground litter that serves as harborage for spiders is also helpful.

                                     

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