Name: Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)
Other name: Daring Jumping Spider
Description: Phidippus audax is a common jumping spider of North America. It is commonly referred to as the daring jumping spider, or bold jumping spider. The average size of adults ranges from roughly 13–20 millimeters (0.51–0.79 in) in length. They are typically black with a pattern of spots and stripes on their abdomen and legs. Often these spots are orange-tinted in juveniles, turning white as the spider matures. The spider belongs to the genus Phidippus, a group of jumping spiders easily identified both by their relatively large size and their iridescent chelicerae. In the case of the Bold Jumping Spider, these chelicerae are a bright, metallic green or blue. These spiders have been known to jump from 10 to 50 times their own body length by suddenly increasing the blood pressure in the third or fourth pair of legs. Like other jumping spiders, due to their large, forward-facing eyes, they have very good stereoscopic vision. This aids them when stalking prey, and allows some visual communication with others of their species, such as courting 'dances'.
Distribution: This species is common in southern Canada, throughout the United States and parts of northern Mexico, plus Cuba, and has been introduced to Hawaii and the Nicobar Islands.
Habitat: Like most jumping spiders, P. audax tends to prefer relatively open areas to hunt in, as they actively seek and stalk prey and do not build webs to catch food. They do use webbing, however, only when laying eggs or to hide. They also use spider silk as a 'lifeline' when jumping for prey or evading predators. They are common in fields and grasslands, and are frequently seen on fences, exterior walls, and gardens as well. Many jumping spiders seem to prefer flat vertical surfaces, likely due to the fact that it enables them to spot and chase down roaming insects with ease.
Bites: Like most jumping spiders, P. audax rarely bites humans. While symptoms of a bite may vary, the most likely symptoms are pain, itching, swelling and redness with a duration of 1 to 2 days.
Dymadex's blogs on bugs, including insects and arachnids. Insects are hexapod invertebrates like ants, beetles, bees, and flies. Arachnids are joint-legged invertebrates like spiders, scorpions, ticks, and harvestmen. Other organisms in this blog include centipede, millipede, and worms.
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