Phidippus johnsoni

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Current valid name

Phidippus johnsoni (Peckham & Peckham) (family Salticidae)

Recognition and diagnostic features

Squat jumping spider body with short legs, black cephalothorax, brilliant cherry red abdomen in adults, male abdomen completely red dorsally, female abdomen red dorsally with a black longitudinal black stripe on the posterior half, iridescent green chelicerae.

Related or similar species

Phidippus clarus


Body lengths when mature: male: 6.2 to 10.7 mm, female: 9.0 to 14.2 mm

Both matures have jet black cephalothorax, male has entirely red abdominal dorsum, female has red abdominal dorsum with black longitudinal stripe on posterior half. Immatures have very different markings (mixture of white and black lines, hash marks, and dull red coloration) and may look very similar to other Phidippus immatures.

Egg sac

Number of eggs per sac: 67.1 ± 26.4

Number of egg sacs per female lifetime: 3.1

Time of year eggs are likely to be laid: probably April and May


In California: ubiquitous

Elsewhere: western North America from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast

Native to North America

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


Diurnal jumping spider, prey hunted down and taken using excellent eyesight.

Status in table grapes

Level of Incidence: sporadic but can be abundant in specific vineyards

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

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

Level of Medical importance: aggressive biter with strong fang musculature, most injury is likely due to mechanical fang puncture not venom toxicity

Common name

Johnson jumping spider for species, jumping spiders for family

Taxonomic history

Although P. johnsoni has been a valid species for a long time, other species (such as P. formosus) have been synonymized under its name.

Selected references

Edwards, G. B. 2004. Revision of the jumping spiders of the genus Phidippus (Araneae: Salticidae). Occasional Papers Florida St. Coll. Arthropods 11: 1-156.

Jackson, R. R. 1978. The life history of Phidippus johnsoni (Araneae: Salticidae). J. Arachnol. 6: 1-29.

Russell, F. E. 1970. Bite of the spider Phidippus formosus: case history. Toxicon 8: 193-194.