The "Daring Jumper"
Phiddipus audax

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Jumping spiders? Ahhhhhh!!!


Imagine having a 335 inch vertical, or even horizontal leap. 335 inches is about 28 ft! I love basketball and the NBA is where athletes’ verticals are talked about more than anywhere else. LeBron James, one of the well-known basketball players in the league today, has somewhere around a 40 inch vertical. In the NBA, the average vertical is about 20 inches. LeBron is far surpassed that! But, salticids, or jumping spiders, can jump 10 to 50 times its body length (Richman 1992). If you compare that to LeBron’s leaping ability, the jumping spider can jump 88% farther!
 
The leaping ability is just one of the things that makes the family salticidae incredibly special. There are more unbelievably interesting things known about this spider and yet still more on the way. Salticidae are perhaps as old and diverse as mammals. Many species of this family have the ability to take on different body forms, and disguise themselves as ants and other organisms.

Phidippus audax, commonly referred to as the "daring spider," will be the main spider talked about on this site, so as to focus in on one species out of the about 5000 that are in the family salticidae. The incredible diversity of colors, accurate 360 vision and multiple eyes, precise jumping ability, and extremely complex courtship are all fantastic ways to detect these spiders.

How about we start with learning how this interesting organism is classified.