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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. 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 web-cocoon to shelter their egg sac.

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