Jumping spiders (spider family Salticidae) are colorful, active hunters with big eyes. They make no webs, but hunt in the daytime, pouncing on their prey like a cat on a mouse. They have the best eyesight of any local spider, and are the only spiders able to get a really clear image of what a human looks like. All are harmless to humans.
We don’t yet know how well-established this spider is in the Seattle region, or whether it will spread, and if so, how fast and how far. Since the species prefers manmade habitats, it’s unlikely to become an ecological problem like some invasive species. And it’s cute! So, welcome to Washington!
In January, I heard from Betsy Bruemmer, collection manager at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry, inquiring about a little jumping spider she found on sticky pest monitoring traps in their collection storage area. From Betsy’s photos, it looked possible that this was the same species Laurel had found in Mukilteo. On January 20, Laurel and I made it down to the storage building (in the Georgetown neighborhood) where we spent over an hour and a half searching both outside and inside the building. We didn’t spot any live spiders, but Laurel and Betsy found three dead specimens in remote corners and I removed some still-living spiders from the most recent sticky traps. Betsy caught one live female the week before. They all turned out to be Pseudeuophrys lanigera. Betsy’s traps caught at least 50 of them over the winter in just three or four rooms.
Now we know that this species has become well-established in at least two Puget Sound counties, right under our noses!
Article Source: Burke Museum