Phidippus “clarus” Salticidae

Missoula, MT
September 17, 2014
Robert Niese

Phidippus jumpers are some of the largest jumping spiders in the world. Here in Montana, we have several red-backed species, all of which are about the size of a nickel. They are excellent house-guests and will rid your home of flies, roaches, and other mid-sized arthropods in a matter of days.

Salticus scenicus “Zebra Jumping Spider” Salticidae (female)

Missoula, MT
June 26, 2014
Robert Niese

This abundant, charismatic jumping spider was introduced to the US from Europe, but can now be found throughout most of the North American continent.

Thanatus formicinus Philodromidae

Missoula, MT
May 13, 2014
Robert Niese

Thanatus formicinus literally translates to “ant-like death spider.” Fortunately, these large, agile spiders do not live up to their names and are completely incapable of killing anything larger than a nickel. Look for them along dry, rocky river beds or open talus slopes.

Tegenaria agrestis ”Hobo spider” Agelenidae (male)

Missoula, MT
September 19, 2013
Robert Niese

The “Hobo Spider” is one of the most unjustly detested house spiders in North America. Like all spiders, Tegenaria are venomous and can bite, but rarely will they do so. Perhaps due to their impressive skittering speed or diurnal nature, their species epithet, agrestis, is often assumed to mean “aggressive.” In Latin, however, agrestis actually means rural, and these spiders would much rather run away from you, than bite your finger.

Platycryptus californicus Salticidae

Missoula, MT
June 5, 2014
Robert Niese

An extremely abundant, charismatic jumper commonly found on door frames and windowsills throughout the summer here in Missoula.