Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Tan Jumping Spider - (Platycryptus undatus)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 2/11/2014

The small, but mighty, Tan Jumping Spider can leap distances that cover more than 5 times its own body length.

A member of Salticidae, this spider jumps to ambush its prey instead of creating webs. They are fast runners and spring on top of the insect they plan to eat. As they leap toward them, a strand of spider silk is shot at the insect to keep it in tow should the spider miss its target. This strand is called a dragline. They also use their spider silk to make little shelters out of dead leaves and other debris when they are not actively hunting. They are believed to overwinter and hibernate in large groups together until spring.

The Tan Jumping Spider is known to be friendly when handled gently by humans and it has a reputation for being curious about people. They are not inclined to bite, but may do so if handled roughly. They have keen vision; the best out of what we know regarding spider sight.

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Category: Spider
Common name: Tan Jumping Spider
Scientific Name: Platycryptus undatus

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
     Order: Araneae
      Family: Salticidae
       Genus: Platycryptus
        Species: undatus

Adult Size (Length): 10mm to 13mm (0.39in to 0.51in)

Identifying Colors: tan; white; black; gray

Additional Descriptors: jumping, biting, venomous, hairy, tiny

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.