Identifying this species of Jumping Spider is black-and-white thanks to clear markings, small stature, and powerful legs.
Like all members of the Salticidae family, fantastic leaps across relatively long distances are a hallmark of Jumping Spiders. They are believed to have excellent eyesight and can be just as inquisitive as the humans that observe them. Small and mighty, Jumping Spiders pounce on unsuspecting insect prey using their springy legs to launch a silent aerial attack, or perhaps get themselves in range for a quick run-down.
It is not uncommon to find Jumping Spiders indoors where they help homeowners rid the house of unwanted pests. They are not known to be aggressive toward people, but like any creature under threat and in a panic, it can bite. The bite stings a little, but it is not life-threatening and will heal by itself over time. Most times, Jumping Spiders look, leap away, and disappear into corners and cracks.
This particular species is called Paraphidippus aurantius and is black with a white side stripe on each side of its head area. A white border rounds the top of the abdomen. A light midline of hairs run down the center with small white dots and lines on either side. If you can get close enough before it jumps away, look for a small pair of its eyes on the top of its carapace. The big, round ones on the front are hard to miss.
Scientific Name: Paraphidippus aurantius
Size (Adult; Length): 4mm to 8mm (0.16in to 0.31in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).