Jumping spiders are the largest family of spiders in the world, with over 5,000 species. The most common species of jumping spiders are in the family Salticidae, which includes over 90% of all jumping spiders. Salticids are identified by their distinct appearance and the way they move and attack their prey.
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Jumping spiders are daytime hunters with acute vision. The most distinctive feature of jumping spiders is their eyes. Jumping spiders, like all spiders, have eight eyes. The front row of consists of four eyes, two large eyes in the middle and a smaller eye on each side. Jumping spiders have a second and third row of eyes located on the cepahalothorax. They have eight legs and a distinct flat face. They are small, usually less than 15mm long.
Jumping spiders are known for their jerky movements. They get their name from the way that they attack their prey. They do not spin webs and capture their prey like other spiders do. Jumping spiders are one of the fastest arthropods. Their speed and excellent eyesight allow them to pounce on flies, crickets and even other spiders with amazing accuracy. They are true predators and are able to climb, crawl and leap at their prey and capture it. According to Michigan State University they are the most common biting spiders in the United States.
The most common saliticid is the bold jumping spider, or Phidippus audax. The bold jumping spider can be found in a widespread area including the United States, Canada and New Mexico. It is known as a prairie and grassland species, but it can be found almost anywhere, including in and around homes. It is a common predator of crop pests including boil weevils, beetles, stinkbugs, bollworms and mosquitoes. The bold jumping spider is very distinct in its appearance, just like other species of jumping spiders. It has a robust body with the characteristic eight eyes. It is mostly black. The bold jumping spider has a large white or red spot on the top of its abdomen and a smaller pair of spots on its posterior. Juvenile bold jumping spiders have an orange spot on the abdomen that turns white at maturity. According to the University of Arkansas Arthropod Museum the bold jumping spider spends the winter after hatching as a sub-adult, matures and mates during spring and then produces egg sacs in the summer.
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