Red-Backed Jumping Spider: How to Identify.

Don’t mistake Phidippus johnsoni, a red-backed jumping spider commonly found throughout western North America, with the venomous Latrodectus hasselti, the redback spider. With its relatively large size compared to other jumping spiders, a red-backed jumping spider is one of the easiest species to recognize and identify.

Red-backed jumping spider
Male red-backed jumping spider, Phiddipus johnsoni, feeding on cricket on a white background. Photo credit: Cooper

Red-Backed jumping spider: Description

With a length of .4 inches, the adult red-backed jumping spider has a bright red abdomen and shining teal chelicerae. Most of its body is black in coloration, with females having a different black central stripe. This species has evolved to mimic mutillid wasps from the genus Dasymutilla (“velvet ants”), which are around the same size and have similar colors and painful stings.

Red-backed jumping spiders: Habitat and range.

Red-backed jumping spiders’ range is limited to the boundaries of the Great Plains, the Pacific Ocean, northern Mexico, and southern Canada – ranging from sea level up to tree line habitats such as sandy dunes or oak woodlands. In 2012 NASA even sent one into space!

Red-Backed jumping spiders: Behavior.

Red-backed jumping spiders construct conspicuous and silken nests beneath rocks, wood, or grape vines to retreat during bad weather. Inside the nest is where molting, egg laying, mating, and courtship all occur. These spiders feed primarily on prey about half their size.

Not only do these creatures feast on various insects such as flies, bugs, and moth caterpillars or adults, but they also thrive on spiders. On rare occasions, cannibalism can be witnessed where females feed upon males.

Further recommended reading about spiders.

Spider pages: Learn how to identify and avoid these spiders.

Tiger wolf spider.

Cross orb-weaver spider.

Hump-backed orb weaver.

Triangulate cobweb spider.

Carolina wolf spiders.

Striped fishing spiders.

White-Jawed jumping spiders.

Black lace-weaver spiders.

Black Spiders: How to identify them.

Long-Palped ant-mimic sac spider.

Peppered jumping spiders.

Spotted ground swift spider.

Spinybacked orb weavers.

Parson spiders.

White spiders.

Striped spider in the U.S.

How long do spiders live?

Spider anatomy 101.

The most venomous spiders in the world.

Zebra spiders.

Furrow orb weaver spider.

Marbled orb weaver spiders.

Red house spider identification.

Purse web spider.

Crab spider: How to identify.

Orb weaver Spiders: How to identify and get rid of them.

Common house spiders: How to Identify and get rid of them.

Dark fishing spiders.

Six-Eyed Sand Spider: Is the White Sand Spider Dangerous?

10 biggest spiders in the world.

The Red widow spider

Giant Huntsman Spider: How to Identify the Largest Spider

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Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula

Colombian Giant Redleg Tarantula

Cerbalus Aravaensis: Middle East’s Largest Spider

Camel spiders: Myths and Facts.

Net-casting spiders: How to identify these spiders.

White-tailed spider: How to identify and manage.

Katipo Spider: How to identify New Zealand’s venomous spider

Brown widow spider: How to identify and avoid the false widow.

Redback spiders how to identify them and prevent bites

Funnel weaver spiders vs funnel-web

Cellar spiders how to identify and get rid of them

How to identify the wolf spider

How to identify the hobo spider

Brazilian wandering spider how to identify and avoid

Huntsman spider how to identify the eight legged freak

Jumping spiders how to identify these harmless hunters

Black widow spiders how to identify and avoid

Tarantulas appearance diet and mating

Do tarantulas bite?

Brown recluse spiders how to identify and avoid

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

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