Jumping Spider with Green Chelicerae

bness2

Arachnoknight
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One of my students brought me a wonderful jumping spider the other day. It's about 1/2" or a little more in size and he has the most striking "fluroescent" green chelicerae. His body is dark gray with two stripes down the top of his abdomen and one white strip on the bottom.

I believe this guy is a member of the genus Phidippus, based on the green chelicerae. Does anyone know of any other genera with this characteristic? If it is a Phidippus species, does anyone have a guess as to what species or where I might look to find out?

He was caught indoors in the Napa Valley (just north of San Francsico) and he is quite a climber.

Bryan
 

bness2

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Phidippus audax does lok similar, but it isn't quite a match, as far as I can tell. I have seen a few pictures of this species on other sites. The one that looks the closest to mine is at http://www.troyb.com/photo/gallery/042-18-DaringJumpingSpider.htm. The ones at http://tolweb.org/tree?group=Phidippus_audax&contgroup=Phidippus are also close. I think these are closen enough, but looking at mine, it appears that there is some geographic variation, or mine is a closely related species.

I just looked in its cage and it just caught a cricket.

Bryan
 

Alex S.

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I catch the same species all the time and yes they are P. audax. Can be very common in Northern CA. Awesome species!

Alex S.
 

Arachniphile

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Jumpers are really fun spiders to watch too... I love the way they stalk and pounce thier prey... almost comical at times....
Thier eyesight is uncanny too. I walked up and looked in at the first jumper I had (P. audax coincidently), he turned and LOOKED right at me!!! Creeped me out... he would just turn his head and point those beady little eyes right into mine... lol If a Huntsman did that... I'd scream for sure...



*shiver*
 

bness2

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When I first got mine, just a few days ago, he was hyper-alert and would look me in the eye too. By today he seems to have acclimated a bit and often even ignores me when I get near. He's built himself two nice nests in two corners of the cage.

I put a moth in yesterday, and today he munched it. Looks pretty impressive to see a moth with a wingspan a few times greater than the spider in his mouth.

Bryan
 

ArachnoJoost

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How big do those jumpers get? We have some in Holland, but the largest (with beautiful zebra-stripes) only gets to about 1/5". If you can see the spiders looking at you (cool!) they must be bigger than that.
 

bness2

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Mine's 16 mm, which is maximum size for females. the males are a few mm smaller on average, so maybe that means I have a female. Just big enough to look in the face.

Bryan
 

Wade

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Our biggest jumpers are close to an inch in legspan. P. audax is about 3/4".

They do indeed look right at you! They actually seem to recognize you as a creature and not just as some vast object the way most arthropods probably do.

They are considered to be the most advanced of all spiders.

Wade
 

Alex S.

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Salticidae

Jumpers are definetely a very advanced family of spiders, among the most successful as well. They are incredible predators, able to take down prey over twice their size. Some tropical salticids get quite large, over 1" in body length.

Alex S.
 

Cowshark

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Not to mention the cutest. With those huge two eyes in the front and the small body, they're like anime spiders. They're tied with tarantulas as my fave spideys. I've read that they can even watch TV like we do. It appears as actual images, not just pixels. Too cool. One day at work, this tiny jumping spider (Phiddippius sp, I think) hopped on my computer desk. I watched him hop about, all cute, and then when I turned my head, he was gone. Darn adorable beasties.
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by Cowshark
Not to mention the cutest. With those huge two eyes in the front and the small body, they're like anime spiders. They're tied with tarantulas as my fave spideys.
In a conceptual sense, I'd say they are my favorite spiders - just not as good as "pets" as tarantulas. I marvel every time I get to see one, usually insisting on playing with it (it's from jumpers that I learned as a kid that spiders don't usually bite).
 

bness2

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In being one of the most advance spiders, I wonder if that extends to some kind of intelligence. Just in the several days I've kept my spider, she seems to have gotten accustomed to my presence and doesn't start racing around the cage. Today I looked through my hand lens at her face, and it looks intelligent.

With that in mind, has anyone had enough experience with these that they have become more tame? I would like to take her out for a photo session, but I fear that I won't be able to get any pictures and I will lose her as well.

Bryan
 

Wade

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Once while having lunch at my parents house, a large juper (probably P. audax) was seen on one of the windows near the table. My mother wanted me to remove the spider. I said "are you sure?" and got up and shooed a fly from annother window in the direction of the spider. The fly landed about 5" from the spider, and BAM! the spider was on it instantly. Everone at the table gasped, and since flies are a constant problem there, the spider became an honored guest, not to mention dinner entertainment!

On the issue of intelligence, I saw a talk on an Austarlian species of jumper that specialized in preying on other species of spiders. It had a staggering array of techniques to do this. It was very cryptically colored (looked like a bit of lichen). One thing it would do was to approach the outer perimeter of a web or burrow and immitate the drumming of a male of the species it was hunting. The female, if fooled, would approach and be eaten. If she wasn't fooled, the jumper would try a different drumming pattern, until it found the right one! To test the versitility of this spider, researches set up experiments where the jumper was introduced to various North American spiders (with different courtship behaviors it had never encountered) to see what it would do. First it tried all it's usual drummings that worked on the various Australian spiders, but when they failed, it started making up new ones, until it got one to work! This drumming trick was just one of several tatics employed by this spider. Itelligence? Well, if any spider deserves the title, it's these guys.

Wade
 

Alex S.

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Portia (fimbriata)

The genus of jumper that specializes in hunting other spiders is known as Portia, primarily the species Portia fimbriata, definetely awesome genus. Just incredible, preying on pretty much any other type of spider.

Alex S.
 

bness2

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These Portias sound neat and would suggest a certain degree of intelligence. How large are they, does anyone know?

Bryan
 

motorteipidpa

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whats the life span of these little guys?ive been keeping a little bold jumper i found for a few months now,and im wondering wen its gonna be his time to go.do the adults die off during winter?if so,if kept in my house in my bug closet with the my other inverts,is there a possibilility it will stay alive throughout winter?
Tom
 

Alex S.

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Salticidae

In my experience, jumper adults usually dont live any longer than 5 to 6 months, but that is all the time they really need to fill their niche, as they are such awesome predators.

Alex S.
 

Big Mike

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Nov 11, 2002
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Portia is definitely the worlds most inteligent spider. I found a great 12 page article in National Geographic Magazine about portia. There are 18 full color close-up pictures and three of them are full page! They include pic's of the Portia luring the male away from a female about 10 times bigger than the Portia. One false move and Portia is a goner. This spider deserves to have its place in the Arachnid hall of fame. This issue of NGM is usualy redily available on Ebay for a couple of bucks. It is the November 1996 issue with a picture of Planet Earth from the Space Shuttle. Definitely a must for anyone interested in Jumping Spiders, or spider inteligence.

Mike
 
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