Putnam Jumping Spider (Phiddipus putnami)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Putnam Jumping Spider.
Updated: 8/15/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Putnam Jumping Spider finds you just as interesting as you find it.
This spider is a member of the family Saliticidae. These are jumping spiders that can leap four to five times their own body length from a stationary position. They are hairy and have four black tufts of hair above their eyes and a few more of the sides of their head. These tufts and very furry chelicerae give the Putnam Jumping Spider a seemingly expressive face. Given that they have excellent vision, it might not sound so silly.
Putnam Jumping Spiders are curious and, thanks to keen eyesight, they tend to investigate the people watching them. This allows for some great opportunities to photograph them up close. They approach by pouncing toward an observer, so be prepared to be startled by their quick movements.
This species is an ambush predator. It spins a silken retreat for itself, usually inside curled up leaves, but it does not spin a web for trapping prey. Instead, it is an active hunter, roaming an area until it finds a worthy meal. It jumps toward the insect, shooting a single line of silk at it to prevent the bug from escaping. Once on top of the prey, the spider bites it, paralyzing it and then drags it back to the retreat where the spider consumes its meal.
Putnam Jumping Spiders are outdoorsy and can be found in a variety of habitats: forests, open fields, parks, gardens and parking lots. Sometimes they wander inside homes or buildings, but they can be coaxed back outside with a little effort.