Jumping Spider

Phidippus californicus

Phidippus californicus photo © by Laurie Nessel

This active male spider was photographed by Laurie Nessel at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. July 2009. Identification to species was determined by G.B. Edwards.

Salticidae -- Jumping Spider Family

An active, diurnal, beautifully marked spider that hunts visually as it stalks vegetation. This spider is a male as evidenced by the enlarged pedipalps and would want to encounter a female. The first pair of legs and the palps are marked specifically to the species so that when a female is encountered the male will display, again with a species-specific choreography. All this to avoid the deadly fangs of the female that could well be more hungry than interested.

This species ranges across the Desert Southwest and is more likely in more mesic, productive habitats hunting on various desert shrubs. There are at least 16 other Phidippus species recorded in Arizona. Jumping spiders do not use a web to catch prey, but do use silk to build a retreat where they shelter at night. Females finally build a web-cocoon to shelter their egg sac.

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 2 Aug. 2009,
updated 6 Sept. 2022.