Habronattus viridipes

Geographic Range

Habronattus viridipes has been observed as north as Minnesota and other great lake states like northern Illinois to southern states like Mississippi, Arkansas, and Kansas. From its observed western range, Habronattus viridipes has also been found in the eastern half of the United States as far as Maine, western Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City. This species of jumping spider has also been observed in southern Appalachian forests. (Collins, et al., 1996; Coyle, 1981; Cutler, 1965; Cutler, 1990; Doris, 1972; Ehamann and Boyd, 1997; Guarisco and Fitch, 1995; Sierwald, 2005; Vogel, 1968)


Habronattus viridipes is found in multiple types of habitats from the urban sprawls of New York City to Appalachian forest and other woodland areas. Other types of habitat this spider has been observed in are cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) ecosystems, lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) fields, and prairies habitats. (Bardwell and Averill, 1996; Collins, et al., 1996; Coyle, 1981; Ehamann and Boyd, 1997)

Physical Description

Habronattus viridipes is a medium sized jumping spider with black and tan coloration. The thorax exhibits three bold black stripes with two bold tan stripes in between, running anterior to posterior. The abdomen exhibits three bold tan stripes, with two bold black lines in between, also running anterior to posterior. Legs are tan, speckled with small black spots. Females of this species tend to be larger, while males are more colorful. On average, H. viridipes is 3 to 17 mm in length. ("Statement of Need and Reasonableness", 2012)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • female larger
  • male more colorful
  • Range length
    3 to 17 mm
    0.12 to 0.67 in


Mating takes place in the spring and summer. Shortly after, the eggs are laid. After they hatch in the summer, the young spiderlings remain with the mother for several molts. Most jumping spiders molt five or six times before becoming an adult. The young spiders reach independence after about a month and disperse. Growth varies depending on the amount of food the developing spider consumes. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)


Most males of the genus Habronattus perform elaborate courtship behaviors prior to mating. Females, even virgin females, are highly resistant to male courtship, which may indicate that there is a physiological "sweet spot" for females when it comes to mating in the Habronattus genus. Some courtship behaviors seen in the genus Habronattus include head bobbing, zigzag staggering motion, leg raising, palpi splaying, or no courtship at all. Other Habronattus jumping spiders have been observed producing vibrations to accompany their courtship displays. Males will mate with as many females as they can during their lives. Mating takes place during the spring and summer. (Elias, et al., 2005; Richmann and Cutler, 1998)

There is little known about the specific reproductive behavior of H. viridipes, but it is likely similar to other jumping spiders in the family Salticidae. Mating and reproduction occur in the spring and summer in the family Salticidae. Jumping spider females collect their eggs in egg sacs, and the female keeps the egg sacs with her, guarding them while they hatch and for some time after. Related jumping spiders have been known to produce 6 egg sacs per year, each following clutch with fewer eggs. Other males of the family Salticidae have been observed to mature 2 weeks before female spiders; at this point the male guards the female until she matures and is ready to mate. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)

  • Breeding interval
    Males mate frequently throughout their lives.
  • Breeding season
    Mating and reproduction occur in the spring and summer.
  • Average number of offspring
  • Average gestation period
    1 months

In many members of the family Salticidae, the female spider will guard her eggs for one month from predators and parasites until the young spiders emerge from the egg sac. After the young spiders disperse, the female parent provides no further care. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)


No lifespan has been described in the literature for H. viridipes, but generally jumping spiders do not survive in the wild longer than one year.

  • Typical lifespan
    Status: wild
    1 (high) years


Jumping spiders have been shown in laboratory studies to learn and improve their hunting skills as they age. They learn to differentiate between types of prey through experience, as well as which prey items to avoid. Their visual acuity and ability to jump distances many times their size allows them to be efficient, effective predators. (Elias, et al., 2005)

Communication and Perception

Spiders have eight eyes, making vision one of their most important senses. Species of jumping spiders use their anterior median eye to detect movement, see shapes, and perceive color and depth. Visual cues are used to communicate during courtship, as the male does elaborate physical maneuvers while trying to attract the attention of the female. Males of some Habronattus spiders also produce seismic signals coordinated with the visual maneuvers during courtship. (Elias, et al., 2005; Guarisco, et al., 2001; Richman, 1981)

Food Habits

Jumping spiders consume live and dead invertebrates including fruit flies, mealworms, and meal moths, but live prey is preferred. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • terrestrial non-insect arthropods


Jumping spiders in general have a broad range of predators including mammals, birds, lizards and other spiders. Some wasps prey heavily on jumping spiders. These wasps include muddaubers, organ-pipe muddaubers, and spider wasps. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)

Ecosystem Roles

Habronattus viridipes is an important link in the food web. This jumping spider consumes smaller insects and other spiders, while it is consumed by larger organisms like mammals, lizards, birds, and other spiders and large insects.

The family Salticidae have both internal and external parasites. Internal parasites including nematode worms or acrocerid fly larvae. These internal parasites feed on the their host, but a majority of individuals die before emergence from the spider. External parasites include species of the family Mantispidae, that attach to a jumping spider and feed on blood. To complete its life cycle, the mantis-fly has to burrow itself into an egg sac of a female, meaning that mantis-fly species are both ectoparasites and eggsac parasites. (Guarisco, et al., 2001)

Commensal/Parasitic Species

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

There are no known positive effects of Habronattus viridipes on humans.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known adverse effects of Habronattus viridipes on humans.

Conservation Status

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has designated Habronattus viridipes as a species of special concern. Little research has been done on Habronattus viridipes and may be overlooked as a species. Only the MNDNR has designated this spider as special concern, as it feels that H. viridipes has been observed only in habitats that are rare and subject to habitat destruction. Other state and federal agencies have not acknowledged this spider as endangered, threatened, or of special concern. ("Statement of Need and Reasonableness", 2012; Ehamann and Boyd, 1997)


Andrew Edgcumbe (author), Minnesota State University Mankato, Robert Sorensen (editor), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Angela Miner (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.



living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.

World Map


uses sound to communicate


living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


an animal that mainly eats meat


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

  1. active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.

animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature

female parental care

parental care is carried out by females


union of egg and spermatozoan


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.


An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.

internal fertilization

fertilization takes place within the female's body


A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.


having more than one female as a mate at one time


"many forms." A species is polymorphic if its individuals can be divided into two or more easily recognized groups, based on structure, color, or other similar characteristics. The term only applies when the distinct groups can be found in the same area; graded or clinal variation throughout the range of a species (e.g. a north-to-south decrease in size) is not polymorphism. Polymorphic characteristics may be inherited because the differences have a genetic basis, or they may be the result of environmental influences. We do not consider sexual differences (i.e. sexual dimorphism), seasonal changes (e.g. change in fur color), or age-related changes to be polymorphic. Polymorphism in a local population can be an adaptation to prevent density-dependent predation, where predators preferentially prey on the most common morph.

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season


remains in the same area


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


living in residential areas on the outskirts of large cities or towns.


uses touch to communicate


that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).


Living on the ground.

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.


A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.


A terrestrial biome with low, shrubby or mat-like vegetation found at extremely high latitudes or elevations, near the limit of plant growth. Soils usually subject to permafrost. Plant diversity is typically low and the growing season is short.


living in cities and large towns, landscapes dominated by human structures and activity.


movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others


uses sight to communicate


2012. "Statement of Need and Reasonableness" (On-line). Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Accessed July 23, 2014 at http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/input/rules/ets/SONAR_spiders.pdf.

Bardwell, C., A. Averill. 1996. Effectiveness of larval defenses against spider predation in cranberry ecosystems. Environmental entomology, 25/5: 1083-1091.

Collins, J., D. Jennings, H. Forsythe. 1996. Effects of cultural practices on the spider (Araneae) fauna of lowbush blueberry fields in Washington County, Maine. Journal of Arachnology, 24/1: 43-57.

Coyle, F. 1981. Effects of clearcutting on the spider community of a southern Appalachian forest. Journal of Arachnology, 9/3: 285-298.

Cutler, B. 1990. Synanthropic Salticidae of the northeast United States. Peckhamia 2, 6: 91-92.

Cutler, B. 1965. The jumping spiders of New York City (Araneae: Salticidae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 73: 138-143.

Doris, P. 1972. Checklist of Spiders Collected in Mississippi Compared With Preliminary Study of Arkansas Spiders. Arkansas Academy of Science Proceedings, 26: 83-86.

Ehamann, W., B. Boyd. 1997. Surveys for proposed special concern jumping spiders of Minnesota. Final report submitted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, None: Unpaged.

Elias, D., E. Hebets, R. Hoy, A. Mason. 2005. Seismic signals are crucial for male mating success in a visual specialist jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae). Animal Behaviour, 69/4: 931-938.

Guarisco, H., B. Cutler, K. Kinman. 2001. Checklist of Kansas jumping spiders. ESU Printing Services: Emporia State University.

Guarisco, H., H. Fitch. 1995. Spiders of the Kansas Ecological Reserves. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, 98/3-4: 118-129.

Richman, D. 1981. A bibliography of courtship and agonistic display in salticid spiders. Peckhamia 2, 2: 16-23.

Richmann, D., B. Cutler. 1998. The courtship of a Kansas population of Habronattus borealis (Araneae, Salticidae). Journal of Arachnology, 26: 244-246.

Sierwald, P. 2005. The spider species of the Great Lakes states. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, 114/2: 111-206.

Vogel, B. 1968. Additional Records of Spiders from Western Pennsylvania. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 76/2: 101-105.