Jumping Spiders: Phidippus
Well over two dozen North American Phidippus jumping spiders inhabit the brush and walls around residential areas.
Differences among Phidippus deal more with color than with body form. Generally, Phidippus species have darker banded legs, with shades of black, brown, red or yellow on the cephalothorax and abdomen.
Types of Spiders
The green chelicerae (jaws) on the Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax), the top picture in the series, identify it.
Common throughout much of North America, they often wander indoors, in residential areas during cold weather.
Males have black bodies and females have brown bodies.
With a formal, Latin name like arizonesis, it sounds as if Phidippus arizonensis is a Southwestern Phidippus species, and indeed it is.
Phidippus arizonensis can be found from Arizona through Texas.
Male color varies. The small tufts of spiked hair on the head also provide a good field identification guide.
Phidippus borealis, a jumping spider of the boreal forests of the northern United States, appears to be more common in Canada.
The color on the otherwise black body can be variable.
Many different color variations of the jumping spider, Phidippus clarus, are found from coast to coast.
Males tend to have patterned, red abdomens, and females tend to have brown abdomens.
The spots and stripes on the abdomen are pretty standard, but not always present. Dull colored, banded legs also standard.
The Regal Jumping Spider, known to many as Phidippus regius, are the largest eastern species.
Females can have either brown to orange, or gray, bodies. Male bodies are typically darker. A white patch and abdominal stripes also help with identification.
Their range is limited to the Southeast with a heavy presence in Florida.
© 2004-2014. Patricia A. Michaels.