thick-spined jumping spider

(Tutelina similis)

Conservation Status
thick-spined jumping spider
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Thick-spined jumping spider is a relatively small jumping spider. It occurs in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains and in adjacent Canadian provinces. Adults are found all summer on bushes and tall grasses, and under stones and boards.

The male is to 3 16 (4.5 to 5 mm) long not including the legs. The entire body is densely covered with greenish iridescent scales and a few white hairs. The scales are iridescent and may appear light or dark depending on the angle of the light. The front part of the body (cephalothorax) is larger than the abdomen. The plate covering the cephalothorax (carapace) is reddish-brown, about two thirds as long as wide, and is slightly overlapped by the abdomen so that the body does not appear ant-like. When viewed from above the sides of the carapace are nearly parallel. When viewed from the side it is of moderate hight, more than half as tall as wide at its widest point, but only moderately convex.

There are four pairs of eyes arranged in what appears to be three rows occupying less than half of the carapace. The first row of four eyes, consisting of the anterior median eyes (AMEs) and anterior lateral eyes (ALEs), is curved backward. The AMEs are the middle and forward-most pair of these. They are by far the largest of all of the eyes and can be moved. The AMEs are about twice as large as the ALEs. The second row of two eyes are the posterior median eyes (PMEs). They are very small and are barely or not at all noticeable on most photos. The third row of eyes is the posterior lateral eyes (PLEs). The PLEs are set far back on the head and are only slightly wider apart than the first row of four eyes (AMEs and ALEs together). The PMEs and ALEs form a wide rectangle. The AMEs are closer to the ALEs than to the PLEs. The PMEs are closer to the ALEs than to the PLEs. There is a tuft of mostly brown and a few white hairs above each AME.

The legs are short, longitudinally striped, oriented forward, and adapted for jumping. The front legs are only slightly enlarged. The fourth leg segment (patella) is about twice as long as the fifth segment (tibia). The patella and tibia on the front legs have a long white fringe on the underside. The tibia on the front legs have two pairs of spines. They do not have a tuft of black hairs on the underside. There are two pairs of spines on the tibia of the second pair of legs, and two pairs on the sixth segment (metatarsus) of all legs except the second pair, which has only a single pair of spines. All of the spines are fine and are difficult to see.

The female is larger, 3 16 to ¼ (5 to 6 mm) with a legspan of ¼ to (6 to 9 mm). The carapace is darker but the color is otherwise similar to the male. The abdomen is larger than the carapace. The legs are more distinctly longitudinally striped. There is no tuft of hairs above each AME.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Female Body Length: 3 16 to ¼ (5 to 6 mm)

Male Body Length: to 3 16 (4.5 to 5 mm)

Legspan: ¼ to (6 to 9 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Thin-spined jumping spider (Tutelina elegans) male has a tuft of black hairs on the underside of the tibia of the front legs. The female has a white band around the base of the abdomen. Early stage (instar) females are entirely gray and cannot be distinguished morphologically from T. similis.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Bushes and tall grasses, under stones and boards

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

All summer

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults hunt during the day by sneaking up and pouncing on their prey. They release silk while jumping as a drag line to prevent falling, but they do not spin webs. They do not hunt at night.

They will bite if molested but are usually too quick and wary to be caught. They can jump 10 to 50 times their body length.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Eggs are laid in mid-summer. Juveniles overwinter. Adults mature the following early summer.

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Ants

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 82.

Conservation Biology of Special Concern Jumping Spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) of Minnesota; Ehmann, William J. Ehmann; 12/2/2002.

 
  9/5/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  
 

Order

Araneae (spiders)  
 

Suborder

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

Superfamily

Salticoidea  
 

Family

Salticidae (jumping spiders)  
 

Subfamily

Salticinae  
 

Tribe

Dendryphantini  
  Subtribe Dendryphantina  
 

Genus

Tutelina  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

thick-spined 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.

 

Patella

The fourth segment of a spider leg, after the femur and before the tibia.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    thick-spined jumping spider   thick-spined jumping spider  
           
    thick-spined jumping spider   thick-spined jumping spider  
           
 

Male

 
    thick-spined jumping spider   thick-spined jumping spider  
           
    thick-spined jumping spider   thick-spined jumping spider  
           
    thick-spined jumping spider      
           
 

Female

 
    thick-spined jumping spider      
           
 

Mating

 
    thick-spined jumping spider   thick-spined jumping spider  
           
 
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  Alfredo Colon
8/6/2019

: Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

thick-spined jumping spider  
  Alfredo Colon
8/27/2018

: Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

thick-spined jumping spider  
  Alfredo Colon
8/13/2018

: Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

thick-spined jumping spider  
           
 
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