Phidippus Borealis Spider

Phidippus Borealis Spider, Vancouver Island, BC
Phidippus Borealis Spider, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo Copyright By Sean McCann

Although these spiders are quite small, they are beautiful to see, and their variety is amazing. They are easily distinguished from other spiders, by their unique eye arrangement, and general behavior. For instance, they don’t just walk, but rather, dart about so quickly from one spot to the next, that it’s hard to see them move!

The phidippus Borealis is one of the prettiest spiders around for its small size – its colors are absolutely wonderful! You can find these spiders throughout the BC coastal region.

This species is skittish and will maneuver themselves to keep a close eye on things around them. They hunt like large members of the animal world – getting as close as they can to prey, then pouncing on them with cat-like reflexes. These small spiders will spin silk for draglines, egg cases, and retreats, but do not build webs for capturing prey.

Given the interest in biodiversity research in Canada, and the prevalence of spiders in field collections of invertebrates, a comprehensive identification guide to the jumping spiders of Canada is desperately needed. Of the 1,400 spider species in Canada, 120 or so, are jumpers. These are the ones discovered so far, but l suspect there are many more.

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4 thoughts on “Phidippus Borealis Spider”

  1. I have one here that I found in my lunch bag while snowboarding on mt Washington. It rode the Eagje chair w me to the bus and and now lives in a tarantula breeding container that I got at the pet store ( upgraded from the storage container )
    It’s a female and has the black and white banded legs , black white patterned back and underbelly , cute fuzzy white palps and the brightest eyes . I’ll release her when this flare harsh weather is over but for now I’ve bought the tiny melagaster fruit flies for her and extra medium to keep propagating them , don’t ask how much ive spent on this tiny little creature. My brother named her Juniper : so sweet ,
    She’s quite happy in her little home with aloe Vera plants and other succulents although, because she is aboreal, she makes her many nests up in the lid . These lovely spiders do not capture prey in their nest but rather go hunting.
    I saw her catch her breakfast this morning with great deliberation, observing then going closer to reach one front leg toward the tiny fly . The fly as if nudged moved down a bit but it wasn’t until it got caught in a silk thread and started struggling, that Juniper pounced with lightening speed !
    I have lots of video and observing her is a pleasant pastime during the latest snow storms on the island
    Here is a quote ,,maybe from Wikipedia . I’ll find the link
    Quote : “
    * The name of the genus in Greek indicates a person who “spares the horses”. It derives inspiration from the Celtic character of a slave named Phidippus, who was also king Deiotarus’ physician.
    Ps I ended up finding this one I thought I had lost
    If you wish feel free to combine relevant information.
    Thank you for showcasing this beautiful creature

      1. I believe that Juniper is taking care of me too as I’ve never been so delighted or intrigued.and it’s my privilege to take care of her until the weather is such that she may hunt outdoors again,
        I have many stories and also video and so many great observations for example, she chooses one corner of the habitat lid to make a cozy nest resembling a hammock, and every day or two goes on a hunt, but always returns to the same spot to sleep. She is very tidy too regarding personal hygiene and keeps her nest spotless!
        ( ok I confess , Like a proud Mom , Ive made a growth chart – she has grown a tiny bit since Mt Washington before Christmas and is now .5 cm or 5 mm long ( head and joined body only , not counting the legs )

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