The Apache jumping spider (Phidippus apacheanus) is a jumping spider in the family of Salticidae. It is found in the United States, Mexico, and Cuba.
Apache jumping spider: Identification.
The colorful and impressive Apache jumping spider is quite large; the petite males measure a minuscule 1/10 of an inch, while female counterparts can exceed 8/10 of an inch. Most are black with orange, red, or yellow accents on top and feature a distinctive black line across their abdomen and iridescent green chelicerae.
Apache jumping spider: Mating ritual.
These Apache jumping spiders have an intriguing courtship display in which the male first lifts his carapace, tilting his abdomen to one side and extending the initial pair of legs. Afterward, he takes steps forward in a zigzag pattern with pauses between each step, alternating the position of his abdomen after every advance.
During the mating ritual, a male Apache jumping spider flicks his pedipalps up and down while gradually bringing them closer until they form a circle. Then, if the female has accepted him, she will perform an acceptance dance before he cautiously touches her.
The female entices the male through a mesmerizing dance, which includes raising her pedipalps high and wide apart while maneuvering her abdomen to one side. She then sways before him in a swirling fashion, gracefully gliding from side to side.
Upon completing this compelling performance, the male ascends over his partner and turns her abdomen using his pedipalps as support. Finally, he delicately inserts it into its genital pore for copulation purposes.
Apache jumping spiders prefer higher altitude habitats.
The Apache jumping spider has been documented in the US, Mexico, and Cuba – they can adapt to various habitats, including grasslands, fields, and deserts. Generally residing between 1500-6,000 feet above sea level, this species offers an impressively broad presence among its native lands.
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