Phidippus mystaceus (Hentz, 1846) - Jumping Spider
Phidippus mystaceus is a large, striking jumping spider and one that has achieved at least some fame thanks to the photographic talents of Thomas Shahan (see Paraphidippus aurantius). The video here features a gravid female P. mystaceus. Although not as colorful as the male, her black, gray, and white scale patterns and prominent setal tufts make her a favorite of jumping spider aficianados. The tufts, in fact, are a defining characteristic of the Phidippus group (see P. punami) and are seen to best advantage on adult females. A pair of tufts, like those of the P. mystaceus female seen here, is typical but several species have four tufts. My thanks to John Maxwell who corralled this jumping spider from under his shirt while relaxing on his back patio!