The Daring Jumping spider (Phidippus audax), also commonly know as the bold jumping spider, is a common jumping spider residing primarily in North America. Audax stems from Latin and means daring or audacious.
The average size adult Daring Jumping spider ranges anywhere from 0.5 to 0.7 inches long. These spiders are usually black with a spotted and striped pattern on their legs and abdomen. These spots are typically orange-tinted on the young, turning to white as they mature.
The Daring Jumping spider belongs to the subfamily Phidippus, which is a group of jumping spiders that can be simply identified by their iridescent chelicerae and their reasonably large size. The chelicerae of the Daring Jumping spider are luminous metallic blue or green.
The male spider has been known to jump away during mating if the female spider moves towards the male spider too quickly. These spiders can jump about 50 times their own body length.
Due to its large forward facing eyes, like other jumping spiders, it has excellent stereoscopic vision. This assists the spider in hunting prey, and allows some visual communication with different species, such as courting “˜dances’.
The Daring Jumping spider, like most jumping spiders, prefers to hunt in open areas. It does not build a web but actively seeks and hunts its prey. However, it does use webbing for egg-laying and hiding. When jumping for prey or evading predators it uses its spider silk as a “˜lifeline’.
This spider is regularly found in grasslands and fields, but can also be recurrently seen on exterior walls, fences and in gardens. Most jumping spiders tend to prefer flat, vertical surfaces which allow the spiders to spot and hunt down wandering insects easily.
The Daring Jumping spider is commonly found in most of North America and southeastern parts of Canada. This spider has also been seen in northern parts of Central America and has been introduced to the Nicobar Islands and Hawaii.