It is by no means rare to encounter medium to large-sized spiders within homes, but it is not often that a person finds a hairy spider within a car. However, the Phidippus audax spider species, which is more commonly known as the “bold jumper,” happens to be one spider species that crawls into cars and other seemingly strange locations on occasion. This commonly sighted species is also notable for its ability to rapidly leap over distances greater than four times its own body length. This ability makes the bold jumper a difficult species to capture, so if one is spotted in your house, you may have to accept the spider’s ongoing presence within your home.
The bold jumper’s rapid jumping ability may make them hard to capture, but by the same token, the spiders are unlikely to bite humans. That being said, the bold jumper will not hesitate to bite if they are handled, so keeping your distance is advised. Luckily, the bold jumper’s venom is not considered medically significant, and the pain of a bite is comparable to a bee sting. The bold jumper’s natural habitat includes prairies, open woodlands, old agricultural fields and grasslands. This spider species has also established habitats all over the United States, including the southwest desert areas and Hawaii, and the bold jumper is one of the most commonly sighted spider species around and within homes.
According to one survey, the bold jumper has been spotted by American citizens in 42 states. A sample of 205 citizens have spotted the bold jumper over the last 5 years. Of these 205 sightings, 89 occurred indoors, while 128 sightings occurred outdoors. However, 99 percent of outdoor sightings occurred around homes within yards. The bold jumper has a hairy jet black exterior with a white or orange triangular patch at the center of its abdomen. Juveniles often have orange banded legs that turn black as they age, and the front legs of adult males are black and particularly hairy. Females of this species rarely grow beyond .6 of an inch in body length, while males typically grow to be half an inch in body length.
Have you ever spotted a bold jumper around your home?