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Red Back Jumping Spider

Sometimes you don’t even need to leave the yard to find something unusual.

Yesterday while I was watering I noticed this bright red dot jumping off of a my hoya plant. When I looked closer I noticed this tiny jumping spider, so I grabbed my camera to get some shots of him. Or her rather in this instance, because when I researched to see if I could find the identification I was surprised at what I found out.

I had never seen one of these before and have spent most of my life right here in Southern California, but it appears to be a common jumping spider here. It prefers an at sea level habitat  to the tree line. It is also called a Johnson Jumping Spider and is not particularly dangerous to humans. I loved that, “not particularly dangerous”. Is that ever good? I don’t think so, to me this means you should avoid these right?

Their habitat is beneath debris, wood and anywhere undisturbed on the ground. This one was in a potted plant outside. It spins a silky tubular web, and since it is a sight hunter, sleeps at night and is active during the day.

They eat prey almost the size of themselves consisting of moths, flies, caterpillars and spiders. The females are known for eating the males.

They grow up to 3/4 of an inch. This was a baby!

The male has an all red back while the female will have two stripes down her back.

The bite isn’t fatal. You will see swelling and pain that lasts for several days.

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What do you think?

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Written by Kim_Johnson

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31 Comments

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  1. Nice story and nice captures.
    Whoever says “I hate spiders” has ‘Valid Reasons’ for that because they’re a Scary Creature indeed. We have nearly 1 dozen various species of spiders here in Pakistan but fortunately enough; they’re all harmless ones…not like Brown Recluse spiders etc.

  2. We have jumping spiders in profusion here in Montana, though I usually don’t pay enough attention to see what kind they are. I like having spiders in my garden, especially. However, my daughter is very scared of them. When any spider is in the house, she comes to me to catch it and take it outside. LOL

      • The only white spiders I know of around here are common white garden spiders. We do have black widows, though. We had one that made a web in the far corner of our 55-gallon aquarium. I didn’t remove it because it didn’t bother us and got rid of moths and wasps. My daughter actually caught flies to toss in her web, though she is terrified of spiders. It stayed right there, never venturing, for three years. (I don’t know if it was the same one or offspring from the original.) We merely removed the web, carefully, when it would get dusty and tattered and she’d make a new one.

  3. I was wondering if I did ID it right, but there are no others close to it. It doesnt have the typical black body they say they have, and the pictures online show a distinct black body, but the backs are identical. I was shocked to see they got that big. Thank you Howard, I took around 10 to get three clear ones. lol

  4. I have a similar spider here where I live. In fact lots of them. They are small though and I have never seen one even three eighths of an inch. I have never been able to take anywhere near a picture this good of them. They jump. These are good pictures.

    • I was wondering if I did ID it right, but there are no others close to it. It doesnt have the typical black body they say they have, and the pictures online show a distinct black body, but the backs are identical. I was shocked to see they got that big. Thank you Howard, I took around 10 to get three clear ones. lol

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