You can't get any more Halloween than a bold (daring) jumping spider with orange spots!
This common North American spider was hanging out yesterday on our showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa, trying to look like a spectator instead of a predator.
The orange spots indicate it's a juvenile Phidippus audax. As it matures, those spots will turn white. It can jump 10 to 15 times its body length, deploying its silk "lifeline" when it's jumping for prey or evading predators, according to Wikipedia. It hunts only in the daytime.
Yesterday, resplendent in its iridescent chelicerae (mouthparts or "fangs"), the eight-eyed, eight-legged dark hairy spider crawled around the broad leaves of the milkweed, sharing its home with assorted lady beetles, aphids, wasps and an occasional butterfly (Monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries and skippers).
It soaked up some sun and then apparently decided that the telephoto camera lens represented a clear and present danger, too bold and too daring.
Author - Communications specialist
Orange you glad it's almost Halloween? A juvenile bold jumping spider, Phidippus audax, hangs out on a showy milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A predator, a bold or daring jumping spider, crawls around on a showy milkweed. Note its iridescent chelicerae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
My safe place! The bold or daring jumping spider peers out at its surroundings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)