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04-28-97

08-14-95




Jumping Spiders
There are a number of jumping spiders common to Oklahoma. Phidippus audax is the most common and conspicuous here in Norman, OK, usually due to compact, black hairy body and a white spot on the abdomen.

Jumping spiders are not considered hazardous to humans and are not likely to bite unless cornered or handled.

Phidippus audax, picutred above, is a fun spider around the house - if confronted by humans in will track your movements with its body position and if you approach too close it will pull up it's two front legs in a defensive/attack position just like a tarantula. It is a very fast spider that will generally be able to stay out of your way unless your bent on confronting it.

(Webmaster's note: Any time I find one of these in or around my home I allow them to stay and have all the crickets and other insects they can find. A beneficial spider, it will eat plenty of insects in your home if you'll leave it alone to do it's business. Also, don't try to get close enough to Phidippus audax to see its pretty blue eyes - that was just artistic license on my part.)

Whether on not you choose to rid your home of spiders is up to you, but handling them in any event should be considered a no-no. All spiders produce toxic venoms, though their fangs may be too small and weak to penetrate the skin, or their venom to weak or its volume too small to be a threat to most people unless they have a sensitivity. Multiple bites, over time, from the same species can increase sensitivity (just like repeated exposures to poison ivy) in most people, so spiders probably don't make particularly good pets!

Follow the General First Aid instructions on the Perilous Partners page for bites/stings.

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