Phidippus audax is a common jumping spider of North America. It is commonly referred to as the bold jumping spider or bold jumper. The spider belongs to the genus Phidippus, a group of jumping spiders easily identified both by their relatively large size and their iridescent chelicerae.
|Female in Columbia County, Florida|
Like other jumping spiders, due to their large, forward-facing eyes, they have excellent stereoscopic vision. This aids them when stalking prey, and facilitates visual communication with potential mates during courting.
Phidippus audax varies widely in size and coloration. Adult males range from 4–15 millimeters in body length, with an average of 8 mm. Adult females range from 4–18 millimeters in body length, with an average of 11 mm. They are typically black with a pattern of spots and stripes on their abdomen and legs. Often these spots are orange-tinted in juveniles, turning white as the spider matures. However, in some parts of Florida it is common for adults to have yellow, orange, or red spots. The chelicerae (mouthparts) are a bright, metallic green or blue.
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, only when laying eggs or to hide. They also use spider silk as a tether when jumping for prey or evading predators.
They are common in fields and grasslands, and are frequently seen on fences, exterior walls, and gardens as well. Many jumping spiders seem to prefer flat vertical surfaces, likely because it enables them to spot and chase down roaming insects with ease.
Like most spiders, P. audax rarely bites humans. While symptoms of a bite may vary, the most likely symptoms are pain, itching, swelling and redness with a duration of 1 to 2 days.
- "Common Names of Arachnids (2003)" (PDF) (5th ed.). The American Arachnological Society. 2003. p. 10. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
- Edwards, Glavis B. (2004). Revision of the jumping spiders of the genus Phidippus (Araneae, Salticidae). Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. pp. 72–76.
- "Bold Jumper Spider". Penn State Department of Entomology. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
- "Governor Chris Sununu Signs Spider Bill, 7 Other Bills Into Law". Governor Christopher T. Sununu. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
- Ropeik, Annie. "Daring Or Bold? N.H.'s New State Spider Tends To Hide From Humans". www.nhpr.org. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
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