Balding Jumping Spider from Living Room Wall

2023 July 9

Sandy spotted this jumping spider crawling around on our living room wall on July 6, 2023. It was pretty cooperative, I think it might have been seeing its reflection from the end of my camera lens and thought it was another jumping spider.

The pedipalps are fairly small, so this is most likely either female or immature, and I’m going with female. She is kind of bald on the back of the cephalothorax. This happens when the hairs wear away over time, and so spiders that look like this probably haven’t molted for a while.

One distinctive feature that I can see is that there is a thin ring of reddish-brown hairs surrounding each eye.

I am pretty sure this is the same species as another spider that we found in the house back in 2014, [1]although that one looked like a male (but still had the ring of red hairs around the eyes). I did manage to make a tentative ID at the time, although there has apparently been a name change in the intervening 9 years. The current name is Attulus fasciger (formerly Sitticus fasciger). They are also known as the Asian Wall Jumper, as they are a cosmopolitan house-dwelling species that came over from northern and western Asia in the 1950s and 1960s. Since jumping spiders don’t spin webs that collect dust, and they prey on things like mosquitos and other pests that get into the house, I for one am perfectly happy that we appear to have a small but persistent population of them in our home.

These aren’t very big spiders, topping out at about 4 millimeters (just a bit over an eighth of an inch), but if they are like other jumping spiders they can live 2-3 years.


[1] We can see how the capability of my photographic equipment has evolved over time. Compare this picture taken of the same species of spider in 2014, which was as close-up as I could manage with the 100 mm macro lens:

And this one, which I think is also the same species, but taken way back in 2007 with my old cobbled-together macro system made from a reversed SLR objective strapped to a point-and-shoot camera:

At this point, I’m thinking I am justified in going back and re-photographing everything from before I got the current MP-E super macro lens.

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