brilliant jumping spider

(Phidippus clarus)

Conservation Status
brilliant jumping spider
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Brilliant jumping spider occurs across North America from coast to coast. It is common east of the Great Plains, less common on the West Coast, and absent form the desert southwest. It is very common in Minnesota. A study in 1997 surveyed jumping spiders in 30 locations around Minnesota. The author collected 572 jumping spiders representing 15 species. Brilliant jumping spider was by far the most common, with 299 specimens (52%) collected.

Brilliant jumping spider is found from July to September in moderately moist fields on grasses and perennial plants. It is a small to medium-sized spider (order Araneae) but a relatively large jumping spider (family Salticidae).

The male is mostly black and 3 16 to ¼ long not including the legs. The front part of the body (cephalothorax) is robust. The plate covering the cephalothorax (carapace) is high, longer than wide, black, shiny, and iridescent. The abdomen is black with a white band around the front; a broad; a reddish-orange longitudinal stripe on each side; and four pairs of small white spots on or bordering a pair of thin, black, longitudinal stripes near the middle. The legs are short, hairy, and black, with pale bands near the end of each segment.

The female is larger, 5 16 to ½ long and has bronze-red to gold scales on the carapace. The abdomen is variable in color. The light form female is varying shades of gray, tan, brown, and orange. The dark form female is colored similar to the male. The colors may be an adaptation to the local environment. The light form may help to camouflage the spider from birds, while the dark form with bright reddish-orange may be warning coloration to predators that avoid wasps. The legs on the light form are pale with dark bands near the end of each segment.

There are four pairs of eyes arranged in what appears to be three rows. The first row of four eyes is recurved. The middle and forward-most pair of these is by far the largest of all of the eyes and can be moved. The second row of two eyes is closer to the first row than it is to the third row, which is set far back on the head. The second and third rows form a square. The jaws (chelicerae) are small. The basal parts of the chelicerae are iridescent green or blue. There are two sensory appendages (palps) associated with the mouthparts. Each palp has a conspicuous white stripe on top (dorsally).

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Female Body Length: 5 16 to ½

Male Body Length: 3 16 to ¼

Legspan: 5 16 to ½

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

A wide range of habitats, especially old fields and weedy areas in open woodlands

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

June to September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Brilliant jumping spider hunts during the day by sneaking up and pouncing on its prey. It releases silk while jumping as a drag line to prevent falling. It does not hunt at night.

It will bite if molested but is usually too quick and wary to be caught. It can jump 10 to 50 times its body length.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The female is a paragon of parental perseverance. In the fall she creates a large white egg sac at the top of a tall grass or herbaceous plant and drops eggs into the sac. She prevents the eggs from drying out by repeatedly adding silk to cover the egg mass. She stays with the egg sac until the young disperse in about a month. During this time she does not feed and usually dies from starvation a few days later.

The eggs are highly parasitized by flies, mantis-flies, and wasps due to the exposed location of the egg sac.

Early stage spiderlings overwinter. Adults reach maturity in mid-summer

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Insects and other spiders

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 82.
 
  8/15/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and widespread. Very common in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  
 

Order

Araneae (spiders)  
 

Suborder

Araneomorphae (true spiders)  
  Infraorder Entelegynae (eight-eyed spiders)  
 

Superfamily

Salticoidea  
 

Family

Salticidae (jumping spiders)  
 

Subfamily

Salticinae  
 

Tribe

Dendryphantini  
  Subtribe Dendryphantina  
 

Genus

Phidippus  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Attus flavus

Phidippus bilineatus

Phidippus clarconensis

Phidippus homarinus

Phidippus insolens

Phidippus minutus

Phidippus multiformis

Phidippus princeps

Phidippus rimator

Phidippus testaceus

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

brilliant jumper

brilliant jumping spider

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Carapace

The hard, upper (dorsal), shell-like covering (exoskeleton) of the body or at least the thorax of many arthropods and of turtles and tortoises. In crustaceans, it covers the cephalothorax.

 

Cephalothorax

The front part of a spider’s body, composed of the head region and the thoracic area fused together. Eyes, legs, and antennae are attached to this part.

 

Chelicerae

The pair of stout mouthparts, corresponding to jaws, in arachnids and other arthropods in the subphylum Chelicerata.

 

Palp

Short for pedipalp. A segmented, finger-like process of an arthropod; one is attached to each maxilla and two are attached to the labium. They function as sense organs in spiders and weapons in scorpions.

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    brilliant jumping spider   brilliant jumping spider  
           
 

Female

 
    brilliant jumping spider   brilliant jumping spider  
           
 

Male

 
    brilliant jumping spider   brilliant jumping spider  
           
    brilliant jumping spider   brilliant jumping spider  
           
    brilliant jumping spider   brilliant jumping spider  
           
    brilliant jumping spider   brilliant jumping spider  
           
    brilliant jumping spider   brilliant jumping spider  
 

 

 
 

 

 
           
           
 
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Other Videos
 
  Macro Video of an Adult Male Phidippus clarus Jumping Spider
Thomas Shahan
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 11, 2010

I had almost forgotten that I had taken video of this handsome little male Phidippus clarus. Note the beautiful metallic scales between the red regions of the abdomen.

For more spider photography and videos, head on over to www.ThomasShahan.com

   
  Phidippus clarus - Jumping Spider
Dick Walton
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 25, 2010

male and female Phidippus clarus jumping spider with female in web structure; cannibalism

   
  Jumping Spider-Female Phidippus Clarus
Torn80cj
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 8, 2014

I finally found a phidippus clarus jumping spider. There are several color and pattern variations of this species, I was so glad to find out that we have the red and orange variations around the area I live. I hope to find a male in the near future.

   
       

 

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  Alfredo Colon
6/1/2021

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

brilliant jumping spider

 
  Alfredo Colon
8/27/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

brilliant jumping spider

 
  Alfredo Colon
6/10/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

brilliant jumping spider

 
           
 
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