Habronattus coecatus (Hentz, 1846) - Jumping Spider
A pair of Habronattus spiders fit comfortably on a penny. One consequence of their diminutive size is that most people, including many experienced naturalists, overlook these tiny gems. The challenges of entering their lilliputian world, however, are well worth your efforts. Close-focus binoculars will likely enhance your experience. A DSLR camera with a macro lens is perhaps the best way to make a more permanent record (still images or video) of your observations. Macro images can reveal the patterns which identify a given jumper, record the intricate movements of their stalking behavior, or capture the details of the male's leg adornments. This video provides several such examples including the bright reds and lime-colored hues of male Habronattus coecatus. What this video does not demonstrate are the male's varied sound productions. Fortunately Damian Elias has uploaded some excellent examples to YouTube. Until recently the northern limit of H. coecatus was thought to be Long Island, NY. In October of 2011 I found a worn male of this species in Middlesex Co., MA. In early May of 2012 I located several H. coecatus subadult males well as adult females and in 2013 observed a pair copulating (see, video). Although this species has likely expanded its range northward it may also have been overlooked in part because of its furtive behavior. H. coecatus spends a good deal of time hidden in grasses and thatch as well as in shallow burrows and is, in my experience, quicker to head for cover than many Habronattus spiders.
Massachusetts - First State / County Records
- ♦ D. Walton/MCZ - H. c. - Middlesex (Acton) - October 2011 - Catalog #127602
- ♦ D. Walton/FSCA - H. c. - Essex (Marblehead Neck) - July 2014
- ♦ Connecticut - H. coronatus - Kaston, 1948: 466, no records
Griswold, C. E. 1987. A revision of the jumping spider genus Habronattus F.O.P. Cambridge (Araneae; Salticidae), with phenetic and cladistic analyses. University of California Publications, Entomology 107:1-344.