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Putnam Jumping Spider (Phiddipus putnami)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Putnam Jumping Spider

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The hairy and inquisitive Putnam Jumping Spider reciprocates curiosity when it comes face to face with a human.

Updated: 01/05/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
This spider is a member of the family Saliticidae. Salticidae is comprised of jumping spiders that can leap four to five times their own body length from a stationary position. This species is hairy and has four black tufts of hair above its eyes with a few more of the sides of the head. These tufts and very furry chelicera give the Putnam Jumping Spider an expressive face. Given that it has excellent vision, it might not seem silly to think it can ponder like people.

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. They are not considered dangerous. Putnam Jumping Spiders are curious and, thanks to keen eyesight, they tend to investigate the people watching them. They may even get closer by pouncing toward an observer, startling with their quick movements. This allows for some great opportunities to photograph them up close and study their countenance.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Fast insect icon
Hairy insect icon
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Salticidae
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          Genus: Phiddipus
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            Species: putnami

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Phiddipus putnami
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.19" to 0.31")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; tan
Descriptors: eyebrows; jumping; tiny; small; furry; hairy; fast; biting; venomous

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 5mm (0.2in) and 8mm (0.3in)
Lo: 5mm
Md: 6.5mm
Hi: 8mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Putnam Jumping Spider may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Putnam Jumping Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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