The "Daring Jumper"
Phiddipus audax

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Among the family Salticidae, or jumping spider, family there are easily 5000 different species found around the world. Containing 13% of spider species, this makes Salticidae the most diverse family of spiders. In the genus Phiddipus, there are about 60 different confirmed species, including Phiddipus audax, or the daring jumper (Jerzy 2012).

The daring jumping spider is mainly distributed in the United States, but has been introduced in Hawaii and the Nicobar islands. The majority of Phiddipus spiders are found in the Atlantic coasts states and west to California. They are commonly found in gardens, on tree trunks, or fallen leaves. Though less likely, they are found inside homes near the windowsills, or doorjambs, in search of prey. This organism seems to have adapted very well to its environment as it has an abnormally quick and long jumping ability of 10-50 times its body length. The spider does this without having enlarged muscles in its legs. Instead, it suddenly increases blood pressure in it’s third or fourth pair of legs (Forster 1982).

Unlike most other spiders, Phidippus audax does not spin webs to catch prey. Though they will spin webs when laying eggs or attempting to hide, they prefer open areas to hunt. Salticidae spiders are very good at hiding and if they do not want you to find them you won’t.

What do these guys eat?