Jumping Spider

2007 August 22

Little Brown Job

When birdwatching, there are a lot of what S. calls “little brown jobs”, little nondescript brown birds (sparrows and the like) that an amateur doesn’t have a prayer of identifying on-the-fly. Well, there is the same problem with jumping spiders, like this one:
This is in the family Salticidae, which is a huge group of arachnid “little brown jobs” (about 4,400 species identified). There are at least two species around here (brown ones like this one, and black ones with white stripes that I hope to get a picture of later). Whether this is just two species, or two groups of umpteen species each, I don’t know.

These little guys don’t build webs, instead they charge around pouncing on things. As you can see in the next picture, they have really good eyes for a spider:
Isn’t that a sweet face?[1] They are believed to have full binocular vision (depth perception is so important when you are planning on pouncing on something), and they can jump a couple of inches. This particular one sat for the photos, and then abruptly leapt completely out of the dish and scurried off. They’re kind of like the ant lions in that they either don’t move at all, or move so quickly that they almost seem to teleport from point to point.

[1] I also like the way it almost looks like his hair was combed. Most of the hairy arthropods I’ve seen have the hairs standing straight up.

3 Responses
  1. James permalink
    March 11, 2008

    Cool spider. Most of the jumpers I’ve seen were also either brown or “zebra-striped” but I’ve seen them in other colors like fluorescent green & one I saw some years ago was silver & metallic red (Too bad I had no camera). Great site, keep up the good work!

  2. Sue permalink
    May 24, 2014

    You have a nice little Naphrys pulex there. Jumpers are great. And you likely have many, many different species of jumpers around you – but they are all pretty small so until you start looking for them…they often go unnoticed.

  3. Emma S permalink
    May 30, 2015

    So I read both your of the posts on these little guys, and it’s the only thing that comes close to the little guy I found in my backyard today (may 30th ’15) accept the abdomen was a Tanish brown with a black stripe and then the white dots ran along were the black and tan touched. I took a pic of its abdomen(hard it was camera shy) but couldn’t get a good full shot.

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