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.