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Habronattus viridipes

What do they look like?

Habronattus viridipes is a medium sized jumping spider with black and tan coloration. It has large alternating black and tan stripes that run on the body from front to back. The legs are tan with small black spots. Females are usually larger than males, though males are more colorful. On average, H. viridipes is 3 to 17 mm in length. ("Statement of Need and Reasonableness", 2012)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • female larger
  • male more colorful
  • Range length
    3 to 17 mm
    0.12 to 0.67 in

Where do they live?

Habronattus viridipes is a jumping spider that lives in the United States. It is found as north as Minnesota and other great lake states like northern Illinois to southern states like Mississippi, Arkansas, and Kansas. It also lives in the eastern half of the United States as far as Maine, western Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City. This species of jumping spider has also been seen in southern Appalachian forests. (Collins, et al., 1996; Coyle, 1981; Cutler, 1965; Cutler, 1990; Doris, 1972; Ehamann and Boyd, 1997; Guarisco and Fitch, 1995; Sierwald, 2005; Vogel, 1968)

What kind of habitat do they need?

These jumping spiders are found in many different habitats, such as forests, prairies, and urban cities. They may also live in agricultural fields where cranberries and blueberries grow. (Bardwell and Averill, 1996; Collins, et al., 1996; Coyle, 1981; Ehamann and Boyd, 1997)

How do they grow?

Mating takes place in the spring and summer. Shortly after, the eggs are laid. After they hatch in the summer, the young spiderlings stay with the mother. Most jumping spiders shed their skin five or six times as they grow before becoming an adult. The young spiders become independent after about a month and leave the nest and their mother. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)

How do they reproduce?

The males perform complex courtship moves before mating to win over a female mate. Females are not easy to win over, and they usually resist the courtship dances. Males will bob their head, raise their legs, zig-zag back and forth, and move their mouthparts in front of a possible female mate. Many jumping spiders also produce vibrations and sounds to go along with the movements. Males mate with as many females as they can during their lives. Mating takes place during the spring and summer. (Elias, et al., 2005; Richmann and Cutler, 1998)

Jumping spiders mate and reproduce in the spring and summer. Females collect their eggs in egg sacs, and the female keeps the egg sac with her until they hatch. The young spiders stay with their mother for awhile after hatching, and she protects them. Other jumping spider species have been known to produce 6 egg sacs per year. Other jumping spider males have been observed reaching adulthood 2 weeks before female spiders; at this point the male guards the female until she matures and is ready to mate. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)

  • How often does reproduction occur?
    Males mate frequently throughout their lives.
  • Breeding season
    Mating and reproduction occur in the spring and summer.
  • Average number of offspring
    100
  • Average gestation period
    1 months

The female jumping spider will guard her eggs for one month from predators and parasites until the young spiders emerge from the egg sac. The young spiders stay with her for a bit longer, before they leave. After the young spiders leave, they do not return and the female parent does not give any more care. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)

How long do they live?

The lifespan for Habronattus viridipes is not known, but most jumping spiders do not live longer than a year.

  • Typical lifespan
    Status: wild
    1 (high) years

How do they behave?

Jumping spiders have been shown in laboratory studies to learn and improve their hunting skills as they age. They learn which insects and other prey items to avoid, and which prey items they want to eat, through many experiences. They are able to jump distances much bigger than their size, and they also have excellent vision, which helps them to catch prey. (Elias, et al., 2005)

How do they communicate with each other?

Spiders have eight eyes, making vision one of their most important senses. Species of jumping spiders have excellent vision, and they can detect movement, see shapes and colors, and also depth. Vision is used during mating, as the male does many moves, like bobbing and swaying, to attract the attention of females. Males also produce vibrations along with these movements, which the female can detect. (Elias, et al., 2005; Guarisco, et al., 2001; Richman, 1981)

What do they eat?

Habronattus viridipes is a predator that eats insects and other spiders. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • terrestrial non-insect arthropods

What eats them and how do they avoid being eaten?

Jumping spiders have many predators including mammals, birds, lizards and other spiders. Some wasps also prey on jumping spiders. These wasps include muddaubers, organ-pipe muddaubers, and spider wasps. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)

What roles do they have in the ecosystem?

Habronattus viridipes is an important part of the food web. This jumping spider eats smaller insects and other spiders, while it is eaten by larger animals like mammals, lizards, birds, and other spiders and large insects. Jumping spiders are also attacked by several parasites. Some parasites attack the outside of the body, just to suck blood. Other parasites, like nematodes live inside the body of the jumping spider and feed from the inside. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)

Commensal or parasitic species (or larger taxonomic groups) that use this species as a host

Do they cause problems?

This jumping spider does not cause any problems for humans.

How do they interact with us?

Habronattus viridipes has no positive effects on humans.

Are they endangered?

On a nation-wide level, Habronattus viridipes is not an endangered species. However, in Minnesota, it is considered a species of special concern. These jumping spiders live only in certain habitats in Minnesota that are easily destroyed, which could cause the spiders to die out there. This could be a problem for these spiders in other states, so more research needs to be done to make sure these spiders do not become endangered or extinct. ("Statement of Need and Reasonableness", 2012; Ehamann and Boyd, 1997)

Contributors

Andrew Edgcumbe (author), Minnesota State University Mankato, Robert Sorensen (editor), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Angela Miner (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.

References

2012. "Statement of Need and Reasonableness" (On-line). Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Accessed July 23, 2014 at http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/input/rules/ets/SONAR_spiders.pdf.

Bardwell, C., A. Averill. 1996. Effectiveness of larval defenses against spider predation in cranberry ecosystems. Environmental entomology, 25/5: 1083-1091.

Collins, J., D. Jennings, H. Forsythe. 1996. Effects of cultural practices on the spider (Araneae) fauna of lowbush blueberry fields in Washington County, Maine. Journal of Arachnology, 24/1: 43-57.

Coyle, F. 1981. Effects of clearcutting on the spider community of a southern Appalachian forest. Journal of Arachnology, 9/3: 285-298.

Cutler, B. 1990. Synanthropic Salticidae of the northeast United States. Peckhamia 2, 6: 91-92.

Cutler, B. 1965. The jumping spiders of New York City (Araneae: Salticidae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 73: 138-143.

Doris, P. 1972. Checklist of Spiders Collected in Mississippi Compared With Preliminary Study of Arkansas Spiders. Arkansas Academy of Science Proceedings, 26: 83-86.

Ehamann, W., B. Boyd. 1997. Surveys for proposed special concern jumping spiders of Minnesota. Final report submitted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, None: Unpaged.

Elias, D., E. Hebets, R. Hoy, A. Mason. 2005. Seismic signals are crucial for male mating success in a visual specialist jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae). Animal Behaviour, 69/4: 931-938.

Guarisco, H., B. Cutler, K. Kinman. 2001. Checklist of Kansas jumping spiders. ESU Printing Services: Emporia State University.

Guarisco, H., H. Fitch. 1995. Spiders of the Kansas Ecological Reserves. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, 98/3-4: 118-129.

Richman, D. 1981. A bibliography of courtship and agonistic display in salticid spiders. Peckhamia 2, 2: 16-23.

Richmann, D., B. Cutler. 1998. The courtship of a Kansas population of Habronattus borealis (Araneae, Salticidae). Journal of Arachnology, 26: 244-246.

Sierwald, P. 2005. The spider species of the Great Lakes states. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, 114/2: 111-206.

Vogel, B. 1968. Additional Records of Spiders from Western Pennsylvania. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 76/2: 101-105.

 
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Edgcumbe, A. 2014. "Habronattus viridipes" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed October 22, 2017 at http://www.biokids.umich.edu/accounts/Habronattus_viridipes/

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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