Platycryptus Undatus – Tan Jumping Spider

The tan jumping spider is a mostly black and gray jumping spider found in the Eastern United States. The can reach a maximum body size of 0.5 in (13 mm) and have a light-colored chevron-pattern on their back. Male individuals have a horizontal orange stripe under their eyes.

Description of the tan jumping spider

The main colors of the tan jumper are black, white and gray. Their characteristic marking is the white or gray chevron-pattern on the back of the spider’s abdomen. Tan jumping spiders are hairy spiders with large and very furry white or gray pedipalps (the “short legs” on the spider’s head). These pedipalps often look like a white mustache.

Femaly platycryptus undatus
A female tan jumping spider showing the pattern on its back and the hairy pedipalps. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Male Platycryptus undatus have a similar body coloration and the pattern on their back. The front legs of male individuals are usually thicker and longer and the overall body coloration is often lighter. Some have a tan coloration mixed into the black, white and gray color tones. Male tan jumping spiders also have a characteristic orange band along their face, below the two large front eyes.

Male Platycryptus undatus, tan jumping spider Closeup picture
A male tan jumping spider with the characteristic orange stripe below the eyes. Photo submitted by Tom from Warren, Rhode Island.

Size

As is true for most spider species, the female tan jumping spider is larger than the male. Females reach an average body size of 0.4 to 0.5 in (10-13 mm). Males are between 0.3 and 0.4 in (7-10 mm). Their total leg span can reach around twice their body length.

Web

Jumping spiders are hunting spiders and don’t spin a web to catch prey. The tan jumping spider only uses its silk spinning abilities to create egg sacs and to spin a “safety line” for especially dangerous jumps. If a jump goes wrong, the tan jumper falls into the safety line instead of dropping.

Bites

Tan jumping spiders are not aggressive spiders but unlike some other species, they are not generally afraid of humans. Normally, they can easily be picked up and “petted”, if you want to. They are hesitant to bite humans. Only if they are cornered or squished, they may bite. The bite itself can be somewhat painful comparable to a bee or wasp sting and cause local swelling.

Scientific Classification of Platycryptus undatus

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Genus: Platycryptus
  • Species: Platycryptus undatus

Distribution of the tan jumping spider in the USA

The tan jumping spider is a commonly seen spider in the Eastern United States. It occurs in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

References:

Platycryptus Undatus – Tan Jumping Spider

22 thoughts on “Platycryptus Undatus – Tan Jumping Spider

  1. We see a number of these indoors — this one was on my desk, on 8/21/20. Its leg span is maybe 3/4″. We live in Warren, RI.

    Male Platycryptus undatus, tan jumping spider Closeup picture

  2. This little cutie has been haunting my bathroom for a while, now! He’s sometimes on the wall, and sometimes on the floor. He loves to watch me! I’m pretty certain from my research that he’s a male tan jumping spider. I have never once seen him jump, though! He always runs! Is that normal, or is he something else??

  3. Was this a tan jumping spider? It was huge! At least an inch and a half including its legs! I found it on the floor beside the bed. When it saw me, it ran under the bed. Then, when I was investigating it, seemed to run right towards me! I try to let all critters live, but this one did not survive the encounter!!!
    This is in Southern VT.

  4. Have two female Tan jumpers living in my apartment – of two different sizes. And their personality differences are amusing as well. One is terrified of me, and the other isn’t; she’ll crawl on my hands and arms and explore.

    Interestingly, the smaller one (the one who is afraid of me) isn’t afraid of being put in a cup and “shepherded” to a different area of the house. I’d let them outside, but it’s cold here and I don’t want them to freeze over the winter… Sadly, no photos.

  5. Im a truck driver and found this little one on my pillow, actually it found me on my pillow when it walked up to say hi. I was in Missouri when I found it but I am pretty sure it came from Arizona, I’ve seen them there and I just came from there. I’m pretty sure it’s some type of jumping spider. It’s curious and moves like one. I’d like to know for sure and what spacific type. I have it in a jar with holes a piece or wet paper towel and some tree bark and will try to find it some small Flys tomorrow. I figure I will hang on to it until I get back to the type of desert environment I believe it came from and then let it go there.

    1. Super super tiny little red guy, looks like the back legs are longer than the rest. Came across it in my shed in Modesto, California

      1. Hi Sam, it’s hard to make out any details on the image but I doubt this is a real spider – it might be some type of mite.

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