Phidippus audax (Hentz, 1845)

bold jumper



Immatures or Unknown Sex

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How to Identify Phidippus audax (Hentz, 1845)

Family: SALTICIDAE Blackwall, 1841

Genus: Phidippus C. L. Koch, 1846

Species: Phidippus audax (Hentz, 1845)

Origin of Name: The species name is derived from Latin audax, which means "daring" or "audacious", while the Genus name Phidippus is a Greek aristocratic proper name.

Official Common Name: bold jumper

Distinguishing Characteristics

This species can be remarkably variable in size and color. However, it is mostly black and the top of the abdomen has a large white to red central spot and a pair of smaller spots toward the rear. Immatures of this species often have orange spots on their abdomen that turn white when they mature. When very young, the abdomen may have more colorful and elaborate patterns. The jaws are metallic green.


Widespread from southeastern Canada and eastern United States, south to New Mexico and eastern Mexico. Introduced into southern California and Hawaii.

Collection Map of Museum Specimens
in The Nearctic Spider Database

Museum Specimens in The Nearctic Spider Database

Typical Habitats

Commonly found in grasslands and prairies, but can also be found in open woodlands, old fields, gardens, and occasionally around and in homes.

Activity Patterns

Spends the winter as a subadult and matures then mates in spring. Females deposit their egg sacs under bark of logs in the summer and will guard them until the spiderlings hatch.


Common predator of many insects including boll weevils, spotted cucumber beetles, fall webworm, stink bugs, sorghum midges, and mosquitoes.

Extra Reading

Edwards, G. B. 2004. Revision of the jumping spiders of the genus Phidippus (Araneae: Salticidae). Occasional Papers of the Florida State Collection of Arthropoda 11: 72-76.

Roach, S. H. 1987. Observations on feeding and prey selection by Phidippus audax (Hentz) (Araneae: Salticidae). Environmental Entomology 16(5): 1098-1102.

Other Web Pages

Animal Diversity Web (

Salticidae: Diagnostic Drawings Library (

The Nearctic Spider Database (

Recent Submissions

Observation Date: October 6, 2007 Coordinates: 44.3211, -92.3119 Observer: Virginia A. Lindgren
Observation: One Male hanging out on some grass in the garden.  He was very active and unwilling to be photographed!

Observation Date: September 15, 2007 Coordinates: 44.391, -92.3117 Observer: Virginia A. Lindgren

These were all over  the place this weekend.  I counted at least 10 individuals in a grassy field near my beehives (the same area where I found yellow garden spiders earlier this summer).  Many other species of spiders present as well.