Jumping Spider - Salticidae  Phidippus
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front view

Salticidae Phidippus face
Salticidae Phidippus face

abdomen pattern
abdomen pattern

eyes on top of the head
view showing the eyes on top of the head

 abdomen close-up
showing  abdomen close-up

Salticidae Phidippus species unk.

Photo Details
March 23, 2006 - Draper, Salt Lake County, Utah -
1. face , 2.  face, 3. dorsal, 4. eyes on top of the head, 5. close-up of abdomen-dorsal
1 thru 5 - Canon D20 100mm lens, F20, 1/250, ISO 200, Flash +1 2/3
6. dorsal - Canon D20 100mm lens, F18, 1/250, ISO 200, Flash +1 1/3
©Nicky Davis

Family tree
Salticidae Phidippus  species unk.

A common jumping spider encountered in North America and are known for the spectacular leaps the spiders make pouncing on their prey.  All species are small, usually less than .63 inches long. They do not construct webs, but actively hunt prey during the day, sneaking up and they pouncing on the victim. Many are brightly colored, sometimes with iridescent chelicerae (mouthparts). They possess 8 eyes and are known to have the sharpest vision of all spiders, important for hunting ability. The arrangement of the eyes, four big eyes on the face and four smaller eyes on top of the head, distinguish Saltids from other spiders. The larger pair of eyes (anterior median on the face) apparently serve for sharp vision, and the others for peripheral vision.  Since the lenses of these eyes are relatively fixed, the internal eye muscles serve to move the retina. Because the retina is the darkest part of the eye and it moves around, one can sometimes look into the eye of a jumping spider and see it changing color. When it is darkest, you are looking into its retina and the spider is looking straight at you.

Jumping spiders are carnivores and predators. They eat insects and other spiders. These spiders do not spin webs but make little silken shelters under leaves or bark.(1) 

Saltids are the most common biting spider in the United States.) Persons gardening appear to be at risk for disturbing the habitat of this spider which may react by jumping on exposed skin and inflicting a bite. The bite is usually asymptomatic to slightly painful

1.Jumping Spiders (Family Salticidae) in Lorus and Margery Milne, The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1980. page 910

2. Richman, David B. Status of Jumping Spider (Araneae Salticidae) Taxonomy worldwide.