Salticidae Sunday - Mopsus mormon (M. mormon)

Salticidae Sunday - Mopsus mormon (M. mormon)

Yes, we live in Utah (United States) which makes this post close to home, even though this particular species lives in a land far, far away. Today, I’m going to talk about the Mopsus mormon. The M. mormon was posted in a few jumping spider groups on Facebook and we figured it was a good feature for Salticidae Sunday.  



















M. mormon 


The M. mormon is not the first species to be given the species or genus of mormon. In the entomology world, species ranging from the jumping spider to primates have been given that name. There is a very interesting article on Juvenile Instructor that talks about the history of the mormon species. If you are so inclined to learn more about the various mormon species, I highly recommend reading it. For now, the jumping spider.  


The mormon is the one and only species in the Mopsus genus, so I guess you can say they are one of a kind. Since they live in Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania (to name a few locations) we don’t have any first-hand pictures. Perhaps one day we will take a Macro Safari and get one or 100. If we do, I will update the pictures. For now, I’ll give photo credit to the awesome photographers that took these images. The cover photo is courtesy of Robert Whyte.

These jumpers get about 12 mm, which is small in comparison to some of the Phiddipus species we have reviewed, but still not as small as the californicus. Interestingly enough though, they are the largest jumping spiders in Australia.  

Their baboon like face and bright green body makes them easily recognizable. Males will have “whiskers” encasing their face, and what looks like a mohawk on their heads. The contrast between their bright green body and dark red face is striking. And all things considered, their faces really do resemble a baboon.  

Photo: Robert Whyte

Females faces are pretty colorful and typically have white stripes around their eyes interspersed with red or brown markings. The females will also have two black lines that run along their abdomen. Of course, they have the bright green body coloring also.  

Photo: Robert Whyte


Their courtship is similar to the Phiddipus johnsoni. If the female is in her nest, the male will probe the female's nest to get her to come out. If she is away from her nest, the male will do their signature dance to try and impress her. The males and females are often found living close together, and can be found sharing the same nest during mating season.  

Even though they live close in nature, if you are keeping them as pets, I do not recommend placing them in the same enclosure.  

I can’t wait to see these guys in person, and have added them to my bucket list. Stay tuned for our next episode of Salticidae Sunday where we look into the Telamonia genus of jumping spiders.  

Also, we want to make sure to provide accurate and interesting information, and in some cases that can be a challenge for a weekly blog. In order to create a more meaningful post, we are not going to be posting this weekly going forward. For those of you that look forward to this weekly, I apologize, but I promise it will be worth it.



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