Sassacus vitis

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Current valid name

Sassacus vitis (Cockerell) (family Salticidae)

Recognition and diagnostic features

Small jumping spider with iridescent gold abdomen and white ring around anterior surface of abdomen.

Spider

Body lengths when mature: male: 3.5 mm, female: 4.1 mm

Egg sac

Description: flat retreat-like sac, much longer than the spider's size, white silk, 6.7 ± 2.1 mm wide, 11.5 ± 3.7 mm long

Number of eggs per sac: 10.4 ± 4.9

Size of egg: 0.53 ± 0.029 mm

Time of year eggs are likely to be laid: March to June

Distribution

In California: most of state except northern portion

Elsewhere: western United States from Washington to Texas, also Mexico

Native to North America

This species has not been transported or become established outside of its range.

Biology

Diurnal hunting spider. Common in grapes; can be found in clusters where they also lay egg sacs.

Status in table grapes

Level of Incidence: very common

Level of Concern in New Zealand: WPNZ (May 2010) nr, BORIC (Dec 2011) R, MAF-BPRA (2002) nr (coding definition)

Level of Concern in Australia: WPAU (2006) nr (coding definition)

Level of Medical importance: none

Common name

None for species, jumping spiders for family

Taxonomic history

This spider was known as Metaphidippus vitis for many decades and is common in many agroecosystems, so the name M. vitis appears frequently in the literature. It was only transferred to Sassacus in 2008.

Commonly encountered synonyms

Metaphidippus vitis

Selected references

Richman, D. B. 2008. Revision of the jumping spider genus Sassacus (Araneae, Salticidae, Dendryphantiniae) in North America. J. Arachnol. 36: 26-48.