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Salticidae Metaphidippus exiguous

Order: Araneae

Family: Salticidae (Jumping Spiders)

Genus: Metaphidippus

Like all salticids, the most noticeable feature on this spider is the anterior median pair of eyes (see picture). They are several times the size of the other eyes. The body is covered in dense hair, and the cephalothorax is nearly the same size as the abdomen. In males, it may even be larger. The posterior eyes are less than halfway back along the carapace. An important distinguishing feature of this species is that it has a dark mark in the middle of the yellow chelicerae . The length of the female is 4 to 5.6 mm, and the male is 3.3 to 5.1 mm.

Tall grass and bushes in temperate areas.

The large eyes of jumping spiders give them very good eyesight. They are diurnal. They slowly approach their prey, pounce when within range, and grab their victim with their chelicerae. The spiders always release a silk lifeline when they jump so that if they miss, they can crawl back along the thread to their previous location.

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Last updated 12/13/2004