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Salticidae Sunday: Phiddipus audax (P. audax)

Salticidae Sunday: Phiddipus audax (P. audax)

Allene Hester |

Phiddipus audax (P. audax) 

Hello everyone. We got a request last week to review some common species and their ideal environment. So, since BFP originated with audax, that's where I'm going to start.  

First the sciency part cause I’m a nerd and love learning that kind of stuff. The P. audax belongs to the following: 




















The P. audax is also known as the bold jumping spider, and are typically less than an inch in length. Although we have some that are pretty big (see pics of Big Bonnie below) for their species. A good, consistent diet with minimal stress makes a huge difference.  

Interesting information, audax means “daring, audacious” in Latin.  

What do these little guys look like? 

Audax adults are typically black with white spots on their fuzzy butts and white stripes on their legs. When they are slings, those spots can be orange or red, but usually those turn white with their final molt.  They have a metallic green or blue chelicerae, which really started me on my journey of appreciating the species. We have also come across some bryantae variations in our spider safaris. I just love their coloring. 

And who can forget those eyes?!?!  




Where can I see these in the wild? 

Audax can be located in Canada, the United States, Central America, Hawaii, and the Nicobar Islands. Although the latter two had them introduced into their environment. Here in Utah, we have had pretty good luck with finding them in our garden, on fence posts, nature conservancies, or on walls. They like to stalk their prey, so they do wander, but generally stay close to home.  

What are some general personality traits? 

Because these were our first species, we have had more time to observe them. Much like all tiny versions of adults, the slings can be active little ones. When we started feeding them, we noticed right away that the males tended to want to wander, while the females tended to stay closer to their hammock.  

As someone that can spend a lovely evening at home, I totally feel their nesting personality traits 

We also noticed that the males were a bit more chaotic with their nests. While the females did have some webbing in other locations than their hammock, the males tended to be more liberal with their webbing. And their hammocks were not as thick as the females.  

And here is some AWWWW CUTE pics of our first pair of breeders, Bonnie and Clyde to break up the writing.  




How do I care for these little guys? 

A question we got on our last blog was specifically asking about care. So, this section is dedicated to that. Keep in mind though that we may live in a very different climate than you do, so it may require some experimenting to figure out what your spood prefers.  

Obviously, we are partial to our spider condos, but there are many options available. We have noticed they prefer taller enclosures instead of longer, but as long they have room to jump, hunt, and have adequate ventilation, they should be happy.  

Decorations are a great addition. We love to put silk flowers in the top of their containers, it gives them a good place to nest, and makes it look pretty too. If you are decorating, make sure the material you are using is non-toxic. Many people use a bio-active enclosure, which is also a great option. Just be mindful of the moisture requirements and ventilation because they can become pretty rancid if not properly taken care of. Also, pay attention to the plants you buy because they can have pesticides on them.  

More AWWWW CUTE pics of Bonnie and Clyde 



We live in Utah, which is a very dry climate, so we check our audax about every 2 days to make sure they have enough moisture. We use a misting bottle with the finest mist we could find. Mist the opposite side of the container from the spider. Make sure not to leave big droplets, mist too much, or mist the spider directly. These little guys have book lungs, which means they can drown if they have too much water. One single squirt on the side is usually all they need.  

We feed our little guys at the same time we water them. Of course, if they are molting or have just come out of molt, it is best to wait until they have had a chance to harden. The typical size we feed is about the size of their abdomen. So, the slings we feed melanogaster flightless fruit flies, and we upgrade to hydei as they get bigger. Our bigger spiders get curly wing flies, which is basically a house fly with a genetic trait that causes their wings to curl and makes it so they can’t fly.  


Occasionally we feed waxworms, or in a pinch we will sometimes feed crickets, but we tend to stick with the flies. Each spider seems to prefer something different, so if yours isn’t eating keep trying. I caution about feeding wild caught insects, they have a higher risk of various pathogens, poisons, mites, etc. However, some people do that successfully.  

Beyond all that, leave them be when they are about to molt and let them get used to you before forcing an interaction. Most captive bred spiders are used to being handled, so it shouldn’t take too long.  

Please reach out with any questions you may have. We don’t know everything, but we can give you tips on what we have found that works for us. What have you found that works for you? 









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