Bold jumping spiders sometimes get mistaken for black widows because of their colors and markings but they are nothing like black widows as you will find out in this article.
So grab your coffee, soda, or tea and put your reading glasses on (if you need them as I do).
Let’s get started!
Bold Jumping Spider | Phidippus audax
The Phidippus audax of the Salticidae family – belonging to the genus Phidippus and commonly referred to as bold jumping spiders – are jumping spiders commonly found in North America.
Phidippus audax is called a lot of different names, but the most common names include:
- Bold jumping spider
- Bold jumper
- Brave jumping spider
- Brave jumper
- Daring jumping spider
- Daring jumper
- Orchard spider
For those that don’t know, the cephalothorax (also referred to as the prosoma) is the fused head and thorax of spiders.
Like many other jumping spiders, they have hairy or fuzzy bodies and eight eyes with excellent vision.
They have two large and moveable principal eyes in the center of what you might call their forehead, along with six smaller secondary eyes that are fixed.
Their secondary eyes are used to detect motion and draw in light while their principal eyes are used for accurately sensing distances.
They have four distinct photoreceptor layers in the retinas of their principal eyes that allow them to compare a blurry image with a clear image (image defocus).
All four eyes in the front are aligned in a row coming together to make an awesome four-eye display for our pictures.
“Brave” jumping spiders use their eyes simultaneously for a variety of other tasks but a few of those tasks include:
- hunting and stalking prey by detecting any nearby motion
- avoiding predators like birds and lizards by detecting movement
- visual communication with potential mating partners
- helping with orientation and navigation
The purpose of the individual eyes depends on where the eyes are located.
Bold jumping spiders have a black body and either a white or yellow triangle or line on their abdomens along with two white spots or white dots.
They have white stripes on their legs and several white markings on their heads.
Bold jumper juveniles have a black body with an orange-colored triangle or line on their abdomens until they reach maturity.
Bold jumping spiders also have unique colors associated with their jaws and fangs that are iridescent in color.
At different angles, you may either see metallic purple, blue, or green fangs.
Phidippus audax is easily identifiable by its large size and its iridescent blue, purple, or green fangs – depending on the angle.
Bold jumping spiders have a wide range of sizes but the adult females tend to be slightly bigger than the adult males (on average) – which can be seen in the table below.
|Phidippus audax||Adult Male||Adult Female|
|Body Width Range||6 to 13 (mm)||8 to 15 (mm)|
|Body Width Average||8 (mm)||11 (mm)|
“Daring” jumping spiders are small spiders but they are hunters, so their body is compact and stout like most other hunting and jumping spiders.
When interacting with humans, bold jumping spiders tend to be shy and will keep their distance if they are afraid.
Brave jumping spiders are not aggressive toward humans and will only get defensive if they sense they are in danger and feel threatened.
Most issues occur with humans when humans are too rough on these cute little spiders and they have to defend themselves.
Bold jumping spiders eat insects such as crickets, flies, grasshoppers, mealworms, and moths. They are mainly carnivorous but may occasionally consume nectar.
They are not too particular in what types of insects they consume. As long as they can fit the insects in their jaws and the insects are readily available, they will eat most types.
Adult jumping spiders can live up to a month without having any food and about a week without consuming any water.
But baby jumpers and juveniles will only last about five days without any food and even fewer days without water.
Bold jumping spiders are hunters. They hunt alone during the day and actively stalk prey with their excellent vision.
They are stealthy hunters and sneak up on their prey before pouncing on them.
When pouncing on prey, they can leap more than four times their own body length and they release webbing while jumping to ensure their safety by using it as a tether, in case their jump is unsuccessful.
Since bold jumping spiders rely on their senses and skills for hunting, they have to be active and stalk their prey.
They don’t rely on webs for snatching prey.
Instead, they actively hunt their prey during the day and pursue their prey on foot.
Once they catch up to their prey, they surprise attack by jumping and pouncing on their prey for the kill and the meal.
Male jumpering spiders court females with specific displays, depending on which species they belong to.
Phidippus audax males will use movements with their chelicerae, forelegs, and palps and will lift specific legs and show off their colored spots.
However, if females are too eager and approach too fast, the males may end up running away.
Jumpers mature in spring and are able to mate in late spring and early summer.
After mating, Phidippus audax females will produce several egg sacs (up to six clutches) over the summer that can hold anywhere from 30 to 200 eggs with each clutch getting smaller and smaller as they are produced.
The average age of reproductive maturity for both males and females is around nine months.
Bold jumping spiders are distributed throughout the United States and can be found in parts of southern Canada, as well as parts of northern Mexico.
They also live in places like Cuba and Puerto Rico and have been introduced as alien species to environments in the Nicobar Islands and Hawaii.
Bold jumping spiders are commonly found in grasslands, prairies, and open woodlands – and can be spotted on fences and exterior walls.
Other places they can be spotted are in gardens and backyards but they prefer flat, verticle surfaces that make it easier for them to stalk and catch prey.
They can be found in a variety of agricultural, suburban, and urban habitats.
Daring Jumping spiders have an average lifespan of between one and two years, but the oldest on record lived to be three years old.
Their lifespan will vary depending on which species and where they live but on average they live for about 1 to 2 years.
Bold Jumping Spider | Questions
Below are a few common questions and answers about bold jumping spiders.
Do Bold Jumping Spiders Make Good Pets?
Bold jumping spiders can make excellent pets for the right pet owners. They are super cute, easy to take care of, and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
The question would be…are you the right pet owner? Do you have the right attitude and have you done your research to determine if you and the potential pet are a good fit?
These are just some of the things to think about. While most owners consider bold jumping spiders to be good pets, it depends on the individual owner and the individual spider.
Before getting any pet, it is always important to understand all aspects of the pet and what you can and can’t tolerate. You must consider many things before making a decision to get any type of pet.
Things to consider before getting a bold jumping spider as a pet include:
- They don’t live that long (1-2 years)
- They are shy but not aggressive
- They are beginner-friendly pets
- They require little space
- They require little care
- They are affordable
- They “may” be able to be handled with enough time
Pet owners rave about how easy to take care of and how enjoyable jumping spiders are as pets.
Although they are considered beginner-friendly pets and don’t require much, it depends on you and your situation to determine if they are a good pet for you or not.
Do Bold Jumping Spiders Bite?
Bold jumping spiders will bite you if they feel threatened and are in danger. They are not known to be aggressive to humans and don’t typically bite.
However, in certain situations, they can and will bite. If you are trying to handle or touch them and they feel threatened or get scared, they may bite.
If you step on them or if they feel like they are about to get squished, they may also bite.
Are Bold Jumping Spiders Poisonous?
Bold jumping spiders possess metallic blue, green, or purple fangs. While their colorful fangs are pretty to look at, they also serve a purpose for the spiders.
If a bold jumper bites you, they can produce venom and inject it into you. But bites don’t typically require any medical attention and will be equivalent to that of an insect sting.
So even though they can bite and inject venom, bold jumping spiders are not poisonous and pose no serious threat to humans.
After reading this article, you should now be able to tell your friends all about bold jumping spiders.
You learned where they live, what they eat, what colors they are, how long they live, what their hobbies are (just kidding), and a whole host of other details.
As discussed, they are not dangerous to humans and can make excellent pets. They are not aggressive and require little maintenance.
That’s all for this article. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something.
If you did enjoy it and want to continue reading about other spider-related topics, check out more of them here.