Spiders, Pacific Northwest
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.