Spider of the Week: Phidippus texanus (Week 1)

Everyone, meet Linda, my new Phidippus texanus! I have spent way too much time watching/taking pictures of her this week, so I thought that I might as well share with everyone else.

photo 2-1
Linda, bein’ adorable, a few minutes after I first picked her up.

Spiders that belong to the North American genus Phidippus are some of the most well known jumping spiders of the Salticid family, as they are usually rather large and charismatic, and often have bright green chelicerae.

Can see a hint of Linda's green chelicerae in this shot.
Can see a hint of Linda’s green chelicerae in this shot.

Like many animals, Phidippus texanus is sexually dimorphic, in that females are mostly brown with some white stripes on their backside (see below), while males are black with bright red-orange coloring on the dorsal side of their abdomen (see picture here). This extreme coloration is possibly due to years of sexual selection, where male coloring could be a signal of health, good genes, etc… (see more on sexual selection here).

Linda - dorsal view.
Linda – dorsal view.

Anyway, I’m off to go do some DNA extractions for the rest of the afternoon, more info to come on P. texanus in the coming weeks!

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