thin-spined jumping spider

(Tutelina elegans)

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

not listed


NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Thin-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 (AME) and anterior lateral eyes (ALE), is curved backward. The AME is the middle and forward-most pair of these. They are by far the largest of all of the eyes and can be moved. The AME are about twice as large as the ALE. The second row of two eyes are the posterior median eyes (PME). 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 (PLE). The PLE is set far back on the head and is only slightly wider than the first row of four eyes (AME and ALE together). The PME and ALE form a wide rectangle. The AME is closer to the ALE than to the PLE. The PME is closer to the ALE than to the PLE. 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 the longest and 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 and on the underside a tuft of black hairs. 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 and there is a white band around the base. The legs are more distinctly longitudinally striped. There is no tuft of hairs above each AME.




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

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

Bushes and tall grasses, under stones and boards




All summer






Life Cycle








Distribution Map



24, 29, 30, 82.




  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  


Araneae (spiders)  


Araneomorphae (typical spiders)  
  Infraorder Entelegynae (entelegyne spiders)  




Salticidae (jumping spiders)  




  Subtribe Dendryphantina  







Common Names


thin-spined jumping spider












The hard, upper (dorsal), shell-like covering (exoskeleton) of the body or at least the thorax of many arthropods and of turtles and tortoises. On crustaceans, it covers the cephalothorax. On spiders, the top of the cephalothorax made from a series of fused sclerites.



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.



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



Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this arachnid.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Alfredo Colon

    thin-spined jumping spider   thin-spined jumping spider  
    thin-spined jumping spider   thin-spined jumping spider  
    thin-spined jumping spider      








Visitor Videos

Share your video of this insect.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.


Other Videos
  The Tutelina Elegans Spider
Bob TheSpiderHunter

Published on Feb 3, 2011

This summer I saw what I thought was an iridescent beetle, but it turned out to have eight legs and I realized it was a spider unlike anything I have ever seen or caught before! Turns out to be a Tutelina elegans and is a most unusual jumping spider that minics ants and actually feasts on them. No other jumper will do that as far as I know...they taste terrible! They will be avoided by sight alone. Enjoy this little beauty that happened to visit my home this past summer!


  Tutelina elegans - Jumping Spider
Dick Walton

Published on Nov 26, 2010

males and female Tutelina elegans jumping spiders; male displays sequences and female tending ant

  Golden Jumping Spider (Tutelina elegans)
Mark Berman

Published on Sep 15, 2015

okay, here are my excuses... i didn't have my tripod... it was very very windy (no... really) and these guys were small, but so cool, I had to post - I edited the heck out of it to get this shaky point!

The female has some prey at one point - it is hard to tell but it is probably a carpenter ant, as I understand that's their favorite. When the ladybug tries to get in on the game and the male goes ballistic - makes me wish I could hear what they're saying!

  Arm Movements of Male and Female Tutelina Jumping Spiders
Thomas Shahan

Published on Sep 12, 2008

Here is some video I took (and stabilized from some really shakey footage using Deshaker, a plugin for Virtualdub) of male and female jumping spiders from the genus "Tutelina".

Not sure on the species, but my best guess is Tutelina elegans. The female could be mimicking the antennae movements of an ant.

The music was recorded by myself.




Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this insect.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Be sure to include a location.
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

thin-spined jumping spider  






Created: 7/20/2019

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © All rights reserved.