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Overview

Distribution

Geographic Range

Bold jumping spiders, Phidippus audax, are very common in North America, but appear more frequently along the East Coast. There have also been sightings of bold jumping spiders in Eastern Canada. No sightings have occurred outside North America.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Geographic Range

Bold jumping spiders, Phidippus_audax, occur across North America from southeastern Canada west to British Columbia, and south to Florida, the Gulf Coast and northern Mexico. The species may have been absent from the arid southwest prior to modern settlement and irrigation, but have been introduced there by human activity. The species also occurs on the island of Cuba, and has been introduced to the Hawaiian Islands as well.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); oceanic islands (Introduced )

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

The most distinctive features on P._audax are the eight eyes. The forward-facing anterior median (AM) eyes are the largest of all the eyes. When a person looks at the spider, the AM eyes are the ones that look back at that person. To the side of the AM eyes are the smaller anterior lateral (AL) eyes. Behind the AL eyes, and almost on top of the head, are the posterior median (PM) eyes and posterior lateral (PL) eyes. Jumping spiders have very keen eyesight. Eyesight is essential for hunting and courting.

Females measure from 8 to 15 mm in length, and males are between 6 and 13 mm.

These spiders are hairy; cephalothorax and abdomen are black with little, white hairs. The cephalothorax is high, heavy, and convex. The abdomen is distinctly marked. In the middle of the abdomen, there is a large, triangular white spot, with two smaller spots posterior and lateral to the large spotk. The large spot may be orange in juveniles, and there is some variation in spot patterns within the species, though spots are always white, yellow, or orange. In some individuals there are two oblique lateral stripes. The chelicerae are iridescent green. Males are smaller than females, with more starkly contrasting markings, and more iridescence on the chelicerae.

The powerful hind legs are responsible for propelling the spider into a leap.

This species is venomous, but the bite is not dangerous to humans.

Range length: 6 to 15 mm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; venomous

Sexual Dimorphism: female larger

  • Comstock, J. 1980. The Spider Book. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Kaston, B. 1978. How to Know the Spiders. Dubuque: Wm. C. Brown Company Publishers.
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Physical Description

The most distinctive features on P. audax are the eight eyes. The forward-facing anterior median (AM) eyes are the largest of all the eyes. When a person looks at the spider, the AM eyes are the ones that look back at that person. To the side of the AM eyes are the smaller anterior lateral (AL) eyes. Behind the AL eyes, and almost on top of the head, are the posterior median (PM) eyes and posterior lateral (PL) eyes. Jumping spiders have very keen eyesight. Eyesight is essential for hunting and courting.

Females measure from 8 to 15 mm in length, and males are between 6 and 13 mm.

Bold jumpers are extremely hairy. The cephalothorax and abdomen are black with little, white hairs. The cephalothorax is high, heavy, and convex. The abdomen is distinctly marked. In the middle of the abdomen, there is a large, triangular white spot. There are several other spots, ranging in color from white to even yellow or orange. These spots are posterior to the central triangular spot. In some individuals there are two oblique lateral stripes. Many have chelicerae (mouthparts) that are iridescent green.

The powerful hind legs are responsible for propelling the spider into a leap. To obtain food, a jumping spider pounces on its prey. This species could not perform this difficult task without the great ability of the hind legs.

Range length: 6 to 15 mm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: female larger

  • Comstock, J. 1980. The Spider Book. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Kaston, B. 1978. How to Know the Spiders. Dubuque: Wm. C. Brown Company Publishers.
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Ecology

Habitat

The natural habitats of bold jumping spiders are are grasslands, prairies, and open woodlands. They also occur in agricultural habitat, especially old fields, and are frequently found in backyards and gardens.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; chaparral ; forest ; scrub forest

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural

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Bold jumping spiders are most frequently found in gardens. They live around human dwellings on objects such as tree trunks, vegetation, under stones, and on boards. They are not reluctant to enter houses.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; chaparral

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Jumping spiders are carnivorous predators. They eat a wide variety of insects and other spiders. They have been studied in cotton fields, where they were found to eat several pest species, including Anthonomus grandis, Lygus lineolaris, and adults and larvae of bollworms (moths that attack cotton), including Pectinophora gossypiella and Heliothis virescens. In Idaho, Phidippus audax was observed preying on Tegenaria agrestis.

Bold jumping spiders actively hunt during the daytime, but not at night. These spiders use their keen eyesight to locate prey,then they spring upon the prey and bite it, releasing venom. They have been observed to have different stalking strategies for different types of prey, approaching flies from a different angle and jumping from a different distance than they do caterpillars. Male and female bold jumpers hunt differently too. Males prefer smaller prey, and spend less time hunting and feeding. Females prefer larger prey, feed more often, and process prey more to get more food from them.

Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

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Food Habits

Jumping spiders are carnivorous predators. They eat insects and other spiders. They have been known to feed on boll weevil adults, tarnished plant bugs, adults and larvae of bollworms, pink bollworms, tobacco budworms, and cotton leafworms. In Idaho, P. audax attacks, kills, and eats hobo spiders. Bold jumping spiders actively hunt during the daytime, but not at night. These spiders use their keen eyesight to scope out prey,then they spring upon the prey and bite it, releasing venom. The victim is incapacitated.

Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Phidippus_audax is an important predator of insects, and as such impacts insect populations.

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Predation

Bold jumpers will quickly flee from animals that are too large to eat, jumping down and away or hiding in small crevices. At night they hide in a crevice or small cavity and make a ilk retreat to avoid predators that hunt by touch.

Dragonflies are known to attack them, and birds and lizards do as well.

Known Predators:

  • Anisoptera
  • Lizards
  • Birds (Aves)

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Ecosystem Roles

Phidippus audax is an important predator of insects, and as such impacts insect populations.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Like all jumping spiders, bold jumpers have good vision (compared to other types of spiders), and use vision more than most spiders. They also have keen senses of touch, and can smell and taste. They locate prey and predators mainly with their vision.

Visual communication plays a strong role in reproductive behavior. Males use visual signals, such as leg lifting, to communicate with females. They use their sense of smell to find the general location of potential mates.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

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Communication and Perception

Visual communication plays a role in reproductive behavior. Males use visual signals, such as leg lifting, to communicate with potential mates. Tactile communication is also of some importance, since physical contact is required for males to transfer gametes to females.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile

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Reproduction

The process of copulation begins with a male courting a female. There is a species-specific courting display, which includes movement of the forelegs, palps and chelicerae. The male lifts certain legs and shows off his colored spots. If the female approaches too rapidly, the male will jump away.

Bold jumpers mature in spring, mate in late spring or early summer, then females produce multiple egg sacs over the summer. A female may produce as many as 6 clutches of eggs, each containing 30-170 eggs. Average fecundity is about 200 eggs per female. Later clutches tend to be smaller than earlier ones. Breeding in warmer climates may be more continuous, and adults may survive longer.

Breeding season: Bold jumpers breed from mid spring to early summer.

Range number of offspring: 30 to 600.

Average number of offspring: 200.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 9 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 9 months.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous

Females make a silk shelter for their eggs, and guard them until they hatch and the spiderlings disperse.

Parental Investment: precocial ; pre-fertilization (Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Protecting: Female)

  • Comstock, J. 1980. The Spider Book. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Knopf, A. 1980. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders. New York: Chanticleer Press, Inc..
  • Preston-Mafham, K., R. Preston-Mafham. 1996. The Natural History of Spiders. Ramsbury, Marlborough: The Crowood Press.
  • Roach, S. 1988. Reproductive periods of Phidippus speces (Araneae, Salticidae) in South Carolina. Journal of Arachnology, 16: 95-101. Accessed March 07, 2012 at http://www.americanarachnology.org/JoA_free/JoA_v16_n1/JoA_v16_p95.pdf.
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In males, a pair of coiled testes lie in the anterior part of the abdomen. There is no copulatory organ, so the seminal fluid is transferred to a female by a highly specialized appendage of the palpus during copulation. Females possess ovaries, oviducts, a uterus, a vagina, and one or more spermathecae (pouches for the reception of the seminal fluid). All the reproductive organs are located in the abdomen in both males and females.

The process of copulation begins with a male courting a female. The male lifts certain legs and shows off his colored spots. This behavior is restricted to P. audax. If the female approaches too rapidly, the male will jump away. After copulation takes place, the female produces an egg sac under a silk blanket. She attends to the egg sac until spiderlings disperse. The spiderlings are able to grow and take care of themselves without the help of their mother.

Females protect their egg sac until the young spiderlings disperse. There is no apparent parental care in this species.

Parental Investment: precocial ; pre-fertilization (Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Protecting: Female)

  • Comstock, J. 1980. The Spider Book. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Knopf, A. 1980. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders. New York: Chanticleer Press, Inc..
  • Preston-Mafham, K., R. Preston-Mafham. 1996. The Natural History of Spiders. Ramsbury, Marlborough: The Crowood Press.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Phidippus audax

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 16 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNATTTTTGGAGCTTGGGCTGCAATAGTTGGTACTGCAATAAGTGTATTGATTCGAATAGAATTGGGTCAAACTGGATCATTTATAGGAAATGATCATATATATAATGTAATTGTGACTGCTCATGCTTTTGTTATAATTTTTTTTATAGTAATACCTATTATGATTGGAGGATTTGGAAACTGATTAGTTCCTTTAATATTAGGTGCTCCTGATATGGCTTTTCCTCGTATAAATAATTTGAGATTTTGATTATTACCCCCTTCTTTATTTTTATTATTTATTTCTTCCATAGCTGAGGTAGGTGTAGGGGCTGGTTGGACAGTTTATCCACCTTTGGCCTCTATTGTTGGGCATAATGGAAGATCAGTAGATTTTGCTATTTTTTCATTACATTTAGCTGGTGCTTCATCAATTATAGGAGCTATTAATTTTATTTCTACAATTATTAATATACGTTCTTTAGGAATGTCTTTAGATAAAATTCCTTTGTTTGTTTGATCTGTAATAATTACTGCAGTTTTGTTATTACTTTCTCTTCCTGTATTAGCTGGGGCTATTACTATATTGTTGACTGATCGTAATTTTAATACTTCTTTTTTTGATCCAGCAGGAGGAGGGGATCCTATTTTA
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Phidippus audax

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 16
Specimens with Barcodes: 53
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Currently, P._audax and its habitat are not threatened. This spider is quite common and abundant.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: no special status

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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Currently, P. audax and its habitat are not threatened. This spider is quite common and abundant.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Bold jumping spiders may bite humans in self-defense if grabbed or pressed. However, this is very rare, and bites are usually asymptomatic to slightly painful. A local reaction might occur, such as an erythematous papule or a small urticarial wheal.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (bites or stings)

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Phidippus_audax has not been reported as having direct economic benefit to humans. However, as predators of many insects that are damaging to cotton crops, these spiders may help to curb populations of these detrimental insects.

Positive Impacts: controls pest population

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Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Bold jumping spiders will bite humans if cornered, handled, or threatened. Gardners are at highest risk of being bitten. However, this is very rare, and bites are usually asymptomatic to slightly painful. A local reaction might occur, such as an erythematous papule or a small urticarial wheal. Aside from occasional bites, this species does little more than frighten an occasional arachniphobe.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (bites or stings)

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Phidippus audax has not been reported as having direct economic benefit to humans. However, as predators of many insects that are damaging to cotton crops, these spiders may help to curb populations of these detrimental insects.

Positive Impacts: controls pest population

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Wikipedia

Phidippus audax

Phidippus audax is a common jumping spider of North America. It is commonly referred to as the daring jumping spider, or bold jumping spider. The average size of adults ranges from roughly 13–20 millimetres (0.51–0.79 in) in length. They are typically black with a pattern of spots and striped on their abdomen and legs. Often these spots are orange-tinted in juveniles, turning white as the spider matures. The spider belongs to the genus Phidippus, a group of jumping spiders easily identified both by their relatively large size and their iridescent chelicerae. In the case of P. audax, these chelicerae are a bright, metallic green or blue.

These spiders have been known to jump from 10 to 50 times their own body length by suddenly increasing the blood pressure in the third or fourth pair of legs,[1][2] and the male may jump away during mating if the female approaches too quickly.[3]

Like other jumping spiders, due to their large, forward-facing eyes, they have very good stereoscopic vision. This aids them when stalking prey, and allows some visual communication with others of their species, such as courting 'dances'.

Habitat[edit]

Portrait of an adult male P. audax showing iridescent chelicerae

Like most jumping spiders, P. audax tends to prefer relatively open areas to hunt in, as they actively seek and stalk prey and do not build webs to catch food. They do use webbing, however, when laying eggs or to hide. They also use spider silk as a 'lifeline' when jumping for prey or evading predators.

They are common in fields and grasslands, but are frequently seen on fences, exterior walls, and gardens as well. Many jumping spiders seem to prefer flat vertical surfaces, likely due to the fact that it enables them to spot and chase down roaming insects with ease.

Distribution[edit]

This species is common in southeastern Canada, most of the United States and parts of northern Central America, and has been introduced to Hawaii and the Nicobar Islands.

Name[edit]

P. audax is the type species for the genus Phidippus. The species name is derived from the Latin word audax meaning "daring, audacious".

Bites[edit]

Like most spiders, P. audax rarely bites humans. While symptoms of a bite may vary, the most likely symptoms are slight pain and localized redness of the skin.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ruppert, E.E., Fox, R.S., and Barnes, R.D. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology (7 ed.). Brooks / Cole. pp. 571–584. ISBN 0-03-025982-7. 
  2. ^ "Tree of Life Web Project: Salticidae - Jumping Spiders". 
  3. ^ "The Daring Jumping Spider: Phidippus audax". 
  4. ^ Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Department of Entomology > Bold Jumper Retrieved April 2012
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