Phidippus apacheanus Chamberlin and Gertsch, 1929
A Jumping Spider
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Basis for Listing
Phidippus apacheanus is a common species in the southern United States from Florida to California. However, it appears to be of local occurrence north of 30° to 35°N latitude. It is rare in the Upper Midwest, known only from a few locations in southwestern Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota. In Minnesota, the species is limited to undisturbed native prairie, a rapidly diminishing habitat type. Phidippus apacheanus has been collected at just three sites in the state, the most recent being from 1982. It was subsquently listed as a special concern species in Minnesota in 1996. Special concern spider species are those known from three or more sites in Minnesota, but with significant range restrictions or particular habitat associations that make their populations appear vulnerable from a conservation standpoint.
Phidippus apacheanus is a large, stocky, showy jumping spider. The males are black with bright red-orange backs and rings on their legs. The females are similar, but also have a few black markings on their backs. This species is often over 1 cm (0.4 in.) long, and the front of the jaws are iridescent.
In Minnesota, P. apacheanus is only known from dry prairie in the southeastern corner of the state, a diminishing habitat type. Elsewhere, the species has been found in a variety of open habitats, including sagebrush flats in Utah (W. Ehmann, pers. comm.).
Biology / Life History
Jumping spiders do not spin webs for catching prey. Instead, they construct small tent-like silken retreats under rocks or logs, or on plants, which they use at night and during hibernation. The females will also lay their eggs in them. Jumping spiders are most active during the day, and they prefer sunshine. They tend to stay in their retreats on cloudy or rainy days. Jumping spiders are generally interested in whatever approaches them, and will often turn and face human observers, and may even advance towards them. They are generally harmless to people.
Conservation / Management
The best time of year to survey for P. apacheanus is from August through September. Though P. apacheanus has a large range, the scant Minnesota records define its northernmost extent, suggesting an opportunity to learn more about this species' ecological tolerances. Although remnants of natural areas may often be too small or isolated for some rare vertebrates, they may be suitable for maintaining invertebrates. Each new locality for a species adds to the suite of management options for their conservation and may even guide new land designations or acquisitions. Benign to humans, diverse, colorful, and behaviorally complex, jumping spiders may be good ambassadors for their kin and invertebrates in general.
Conservation Efforts in Minnesota
Surveys of all known localities of P. apacheanus conducted in early summer 1996 were unsuccessful at relocating this species (Ehmann and Boyd 1997). Late-season sampling, including hand searches, may yield new records. Any new records, including date of collection, behaviors observed, and habitat details will be of high interest.
Ehmann, W. J. 2002. Conservation biology of special concern jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) of Minnesota. Final Report submitted to the Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 11 pp.
Ehmann, W. J., and B. E. Boyd. 1997. Surveys for proposed special concern jumping spiders of Minnesota. Final report submitted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Unpaged.
Foelix, R. F. 1996. Biology of spiders. Oxford University Press, New York. 330 pp.
Forster, L. M, and M. R. Forster. 1999. How do jumping spiders catch up on their prey?: a model for pursuit behaviour. (Araneae; Salticidae) - a preliminary draft.
Jackson, R. R., and S. D. Pollard. 1997. Jumping spider mating strategies: sex among cannibals in and out of webs. Pages 340-351 in J. C. Choe and B. J. Crespi, editors. Mating systems in insects and arachnids. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Maddison, W. 2006. Jumping spiders of American north of Mexico.
Richman, D. B., and B. Cutler. 1977. A list of jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) of the United States and Canada. Peckhamia 1:82-109.
Weber, L. 2002. Spiders of the North Woods. Kollath-Stensaas Publishing, Duluth, Minnesota. 205 pp.
Wikipedia contributors. 2010. Jumping spider. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_spider>. Accessed 15 April 2010.