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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Taxon details: World Spider Catalogue
- Binomial name from: de Geer, 1778
26 thoughts on “Platycryptus Undatus – Tan Jumping Spider”
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.
This is a male tan jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus).
Never seen this one before.
Hello Dawn, thanks for getting in touch! This is definitely a jumping spider. It’s most likely a tan jumper (Platycryptus undatus): https://usaspiders.com/platycryptus-undatus-tan-jumping-spider/
Jumping spiders are not medically significant.
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??
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.
Hello Daniel, this is not a jumping spider. It is most likely a fishing spider (Dolomedes sp.): https://usaspiders.com/dolomedes-fishing-spider/
They are not medically significant.
Southern New Jersey. I couldn’t match it to the guide.
Hello Rick, this is a female tan jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus): https://usaspiders.com/platycryptus-undatus-tan-jumping-spider/
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.
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.
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
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.
Hi Robert, this is most likely a tan jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus): https://usaspiders.com/platycryptus-undatus-tan-jumping-spider/
Found in basement thurmont,maryland,Maryland, seen one quite like it.
Hi Rob, this is a tan jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus): https://usaspiders.com/platycryptus-undatus-tan-jumping-spider/
Found on the garage door.
Hi Silas, can you share where you are located? This is a jumping spider of the genus Platycryptus. The species can only be determined with your location. In the Eastern U.S., it is most likely a tan jumping spider: https://usaspiders.com/platycryptus-undatus-tan-jumping-spider/
Found this guy on my back porch on the brick.
Hi Donna, thanks for sharing these photos. In what state is your back porch located?
This is a jumping spider of the genus Platycryptus. If you are located in the east, it is a tan jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus): https://usaspiders.com/platycryptus-undatus-tan-jumping-spider/
If you are located in the west, it is most likely Platycryptus californicus
Spider found in NJ, politely stood still for picture.
Thanks in advance.
Hi John, this is a tan jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus): https://usaspiders.com/platycryptus-undatus-tan-jumping-spider/
Thought this was a jumper but not sure?
Hi Cam, can you share your location in the US? This is a spider in the genus Platycryptus – tan jumping spider. I would assume you are located in the Western US and that this is Platycryptus californicus.
Hi I’ve observed quite a few of these guys in my home in N Providence, RI. This latest female I saw was in proximity to what might be an egg sac, I’m attaching a pic of the sac that the female was near. Is it possible she would have left it, in the open on the ceiling? If not, what is this photo?
Here is the female near what I thought might be an egg sac.