There are many species of jumping spiders out there, but one that has intrigued us the most is the bold jumping spider. While it is relatively small in size, this vicious creature is an intelligent hunter who can actively seek out its prey in the wild.
Besides its good eyesight, the bold jumping spider is a great jumper and can execute daring jumps from a great distance.
While it is commonly spotted around Pennsylvania homes, they are also popular in Canada and in the Atlantic Coast cities, west to California. Read on to explore everything you need to know about the bold jumping spider.
Although it is popularly called the bold jumping spider, this jumping spider species is scientifically referred to as Phidippus Audax. While it is small in size, it is daring and can take on larger insects three times its size.
Its dominant black colors and other unique personalities make it easy to identify.
Distribution and habitat
Our furry friends are a very common jumping spider species, and they are commonly found across North America, especially from Southeastern Canada to British Colombia and even to the south of Florida. Not just that, they also occur along the Gulf Coast and Northern Mexico.
Before modern settlement and irrigation, the bold jumping spider was absent from the arid southwest. Today, they have been introduced in these areas, thanks to human activity.
More so, they are present on the island of Cuba, where experts believe they are an introduced species.
When it comes to their most preferred habitats, Phidippus Audax thrives very well in grasslands, woodlands, and even prairies. Plus, they also do well in agricultural habitats, especially old fields. In human settlements, our spider friends are most commonly found in backyard gardens.
Description and size
One of the stand out features of the bold jumping spider is its impressive eyesight. Thanks to its eight powerful eyes, our fuzzy friends can easily spot prey and predators from some distance away.
Besides the fact that the Phidippus Audax is very hairy, its cephalothorax and abdomen are black and are covered with white hairs. In addition, its abdomen is distinctively marked. To start with, there is a large triangular white spot in the middle of the abdomen.
In some of these spiders, you’ll find two oblique lateral stripes. Also, their chelicerae feature green iridescent.
In terms of size, the females are a lot bigger than their male counterparts. To give you some perspective, females measure between 8 to 15 mm. The male, on the other hand, measures nearly 6 to 13 mm in length.
While the males are a lot smaller than females, they have more starkly and contrasting markings. More so, they radiate more iridescence on their chelicerae.
These beautiful creatures boast of powerful hind legs, which helps them execute daring jumps when hunting prey or evading predators.
Like other jumping spiders, the Phidippus Audax hunts alone during the day. During its hunting exhibition, our spider friend watches its prey with its impeccable vision. It then corners its prey and pounces on it.
When our fuzzy friends jump, they spin silk, which acts as an anchor just in case a leap fails. This safety line ensures our spider friend stays safe even if it misses its target when executing a jump.
Their excellent vision means our furry friends are always alert for prey and predators alike.
Bold jumping spiders are carnivorous. They feed on a wide variety of insects, including spiders. Our spider friends were found to eat several insects in cotton fields, including tarnished plant bugs, boll weevils, and larvae of bollworms. Also, they were discovered to eat tobacco budworms, pink bollworms, and hobo spiders.
Like we mentioned earlier, this jumping spider species hunts actively during the day. Thanks to their excellent eyesight, they can easily spot their prey, spring upon them, and leave a devastating bite with venom that can incapacitate their prey.
Depending on the type of prey, bold jumping spiders have different stalking strategies to capture their prey. Also, keep in mind that both males and females have different hunting strategies.
While the males prefer to take on smaller prey and spend less time hunting, the females prefer bigger prey and hunt more actively.
Is it dangerous or venomous to humans?
Although spiders have earned some bad reputations for themselves, our leaper friends are here to change the narrative. While they have potent venoms that can paralyze their prey, our spider friends aren’t dangerous to humans. Plus, their venoms don’t cause any harm to humans.
Except they are disturbed or handled roughly, our leaper friends rarely bite. And even if you get bitten by a bold jumping spider, the most you’ll experience is mild pain, redness, and irritations that fizzles after a day or two.
One thing about jumping spiders you should know is that they have a very short lifespan, and with the bold jumping spiders, things remain pretty much the same. In the wild, our leaper friends can live up to 1 to 2 years.
When bred in captivity, they can live for up to three years. More so, the females are thought to live longer than the males.
Frequently asked questions
How often do bold jumping spiders eat?
Generally, spiders tend to eat very little, and with the bold jumping spider, it is pretty much the same. For juveniles, feel free to feed them once every 1 to 2 days.
For subadults and adult spiders, you can feed once every 2-3 days.
Is Phidippus Audax friendly?
Although bold jumping spiders are vicious hunters with potent venoms to incapacitate their prey, they are super friendly and not dangerous to humans. Sure, they are capable of biting, but guess what? They only bite when they feel threatened or are handled roughly.
Does their bite hurt?
While their bite can be painful, you won’t suffer any serious complications. You may only notice redness and irritations that fade away after a couple of days.