I found this playful little guy in Hope, Arkansas, today. Spiders are my favorite animal, and jumping spiders are my favorite group of spider species . . . but phidippus audax is my favorite jumping spider! They act a lot like miniature cats, stalking and pouncing on prey. If you ever see a black and white jumping spider, look for green iridescent chelicerae. If you see this distinctive reflective, metallic green, you’ve found yourself a p. audax. Treat them well, and they’ll eat lots of insects that would otherwise cause problems for us.
This particular spider waved at me, and remained very expressive during our entire encounter. He’d study his surroundings, utterly still, until springing into action so fast that my eyes got left behind, in a cloud of confusion. Fortunately, my wife is skilled with a camera, and was able to catch this shot.