Phidippus insignarius C. L. Koch, 1846 - Jumping Spider
In 1846 Hentz published a brief description and drawing of a spider along with the observation: This probably very rare species was found in the hot-house of the botanic garden at Cambridge, in the presence of the distinguished botansts and ornithologist Thomas Nuttall. While Hentz' drawing resembles a female Phidippus insignarius the specimen was destroyed and its taxonomic identity is uncertain; Edwards (2004) considers Hentz' Attus nuttalli as nomen dubium. Bryant’s P. comatus record from Sharon, Massachusetts follows the Peckhams' 1901 nomenclature. I have not seen this species in Massachusetts and the state records I have been able to trace are of observations made a century or more ago. However, southern coastal areas and oak-hickory woodlands would seem to be optimal places to look for P. insignarius in Massachusetts. The video here is from the palisades on the west side of the Hudson River near the New York/New Jersey line. Charles S. Matson observed P. insignarius at this same locale in 2009 (images posted at BugGuide). Edwards (2004) characterizes this species as inhabiting the understory of open woodlands as well as prairies adding that the fused abdominal spots II are invariably rectangular in shape.
Massachusetts - First State / County Records
- ♦ *BSNH - Phidippus comatus - Norfolk (Sharon) - Bryant, 1908: 97
- ♦ Phidippus insignarius - Middlesex, Nantucket - Edwards, 2004: 53
- ♦ Connecticut - P.i. - Kaston, 1948: 486, 8 records "This is an uncommon species . . . "
- *See Bryant, 1908 citation
Edwards, G. B. 2004. Revision of the jumping spiders of the genus Phidippus (Araneae: Salticidae). Occasional Papers of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods 11: i-viii, 1-156, 350 figs.