This week's Salticidae Sunday features the P. otiosus. These guys are a new favorite. The juveniles are super energetic and docile at the same time. Based on observations, they are also great eaters.
As always, the classification comes first.
The otiosus is commonly known as the canopy jumping spider. However, we at BFP call them OT’s. In Latin, their name basically means full of or prone to leisure, peace, or quiet.
These guys really are awesome.
The OT can range anywhere from 8 – 18 mm, with the females being the larger of the species. According to bug guide, they are dark brown with white hairs along the side. They have an orange pattern on their abdomen and their chelicerae are usually green or purple.
Their coloring does vary like any species. We currently have tan and light OT’s available so you can see their coloring when they reach maturity.
For now, check out this cutie!
Like their common name indicates, these guys are arboreal and love to seek higher ground. When feeding them, they tend to want to climb out of their enclosures and will often climb right onto any hand offered.
They have been a very friendly species so far.
Because they are typically located in Southeastern United States, they love humidity. Although, they seem to be doing ok in some of the less humid climates.
As mentioned in the Salticidae Sunday featuring P. audax , and as I’m sure you can attest to, each spider has their own personalities regardless of their species. The observations so far are the juveniles are quick little things. However, I imagine they will slow down with their final molt. They are friendly and have a great feeding response.
How do I care for these little guys?
In general, care is very similar across most species of Phiddipus. These are arboreal, so make sure they have a tall enclosure to build their nest. They also like to hide so decorate your enclosure with a good spot for them to nest and feel safe.
Because these guys like more humidity, make sure to check their moisture levels daily if you live in a dry climate. Of course, you don’t want too much moisture because that can lead to bacteria and mold problems. If your enclosure starts to smell bad, it may be time to clean it out. Hopefully you are already removing the dead bugs, and/or you have incorporated cleaners (springtails, etc.). If not, this is a good time to start.
As you can see above, their feeding response is fantastic! They love their fruit flies or curly wing flies. A general rule is to offer them food around the size of their abdomen, but size doesn’t seem to matter to them. Some can take out curly wing 3 times their size without a problem.
As always, make sure anything you put in the container is non-toxic, and any plants you purchase are free from pesticides. Since these guys like humidity, your decorations should not absorb too much moisture or you will find yourself misting several times a day to maintain the moisture levels these guys need.
When in molt or close to it, leave them to themselves. It is always sad when they have a bad molt, and if you handle them it could increase the possibility of that happening.
If you have any OT’s, please share any care tips or personality traits you have noticed.