Habronattus is an elaborate and diverse genus of spiders that belong to the Family Salticidae. These jumping spider species aren’t very big and typically measure between 5 to 8 mm. They are predominantly ground-dwelling and can be spotted in a variety of habitats.
Like other jumping spiders, members of the Habronattus species are aggressive and voracious hunters who feed on a variety of insects, arthropods, and many agricultural pests.
Adult males of this jumping spider species are known for their elaborate and unique color patterns, especially on their faces and front legs, which come alive during courtship displays.
While most jumping spiders have potent venom, which they use to incapacitate their prey, the Habronattus jumping spider is not aggressive or defensive and does not bite humans.
What is their scientific name?
Most jumping spiders have a scientific and a general name they are called. But unfortunately for our leaper friends, we haven’t found a general name associated with them, which may be because this genus features tons of jumping spider species with unique names.
That said, their scientific name, Habronattus, has taken precedence, and many people have come to refer to them using their scientific name.
Besides their scientific name, Habronattus jumping spiders have so much going on in terms of their physical descriptions and size, and we will take a minute to run you through everything you need to know about their physical description, size, and distributions.
Physical description and size
Like we mentioned from the very get-go, the Habronattus jumping spider isn’t a particularly big jumping spider, and that’s because this jumping spider only measures between 5 to 8 mm in length. Compared to some of the massive jumping spiders out there, this one just doesn’t come close.
And just so you know, the Habronattus genus is roughly made up of over 100 species of relative small jumping spiders. Amazingly, these jumping spiders are easy to identify, and that’s all thanks to the microscopic morphology of male pedipalps, coupled with their elongated third pair of legs.
That said, the most distinct feature of Habronattus jumping spiders that aids identification remains the elaborate color patterns of adult males that come alive during mating displays.
Across this genus, you’ll spot colorful jumping spiders with specific ornamentations that appear on their pedipalps, face, first and third legs, as well as on their abdomen.
In contrast to their male counterparts, this jumping spider species’ females look very similar to one another and only spot subtle differences when looking closely at their drab gray and brown markings.
In the wild, males and females of this jumping spider species are observed to jump along the ground, through vegetation, or across leaf litters. Plus, their size makes them difficult to spot.
Thanks to females’ drab gray and brown coloration, they can easily blend in with their environment. Also, adult males of this jumping spider species have a distinct dorsal color pattern that makes them even more conspicuous.
Because males tend to spend a lot of time moving through and observing their environment, they are easier to find.
Where are they from?
Even though our leaper friends can thrive very well in any environment they find themselves in, they seem to be restricted to the New World, particularly in North and Central America.
Their widespread distribution means our spider friends extend way beyond the Yukon in Canada. They are also present in New Brunswick and to the south, precisely through the U.S. and Central America.
As if that’s not enough, the genus Habronattus has been sighted on different islands, including the Galapagos, Caribbean islands, and the Lesser Antilles.
Similarly, you’ll find Habronattus jumping spiders on various habitats, including deserts, mountain tops, and riparian areas. A look at their geographic range shows that you can find them in gardens, backyard, and agricultural regions.
In Florida alone, there are over 11 recognized species of Habronattus jumping spiders.
One striking thing about jumping spiders is their ability to fend for themselves in the wild. As opportunistic and voracious generalist predators, Habronattus jumping spiders will take on both small and large insects.
While they can be extremely abundant in some areas, our spider friends will go after small insects and arthropods, including many agricultural pests.
From flies to mosquitoes to ants to aphids and more, our leaper friends have various insects they can feast on.
And unlike most traditional spiders that use their webs for hunting, Habronattus jumping spiders use their excellent vision and impressive jumping skills to hunt down prey.
And when they aren’t going after prey, our spider friends use their trusty jumps to evade predators and dangers.
What is their temperament?
Looks they say, can be deceiving, so it’s okay to freak out when you meet this daring creature. But guess what? Behind all that fierce look is a very friendly jumping spider that doesn’t harm humans.
While Habronattus will act aggressively towards their prey, they tend to run away when they come across humans.
And because of their elaborate color, exciting spider display, and calm demeanor, Habronattus jumping spiders will make fantastic pets.
Is it dangerous or venomous to humans?
Even though Habronattus jumping spiders are friendly, they are not scared to bite, especially when they feel threatened or handled roughly. Plus, they have a potent venom that can instantly incapacitate their prey.
Thankfully, their venom doesn’t harm humans. And even when they bite, you’ll only experience slight pain and irritations that usually subsides after a couple of days.
Frequently asked questions
How do males attract mates?
Thanks to their elaborate and colorful patterns, adult males of this jumping spider species have a unique courtship display to attract their female counterparts. As they approach females, they move their colorful appendages and display their faces to attract attention.
Are they aggressive?
Although our furry friends are aggressive towards their prey and viciously hunt them down, they are calm and collected when they encounter humans.
Are their venoms deadly?
Using their potent venoms, Habronattus jumping spiders can instantly incapacitate their prey. That said, their venom doesn’t cause any harm to humans, so you have nothing to be scared of if you come across our spider friends.