Jumping spiders have excellent vision, and their intraspecific communication therefore has a heavy visual component. Males dance before females, displaying contrasting or brightly colored ornaments. Presumably this courtship dance is a basis by which females choose mates.
One of the most diverse and elaborately-ornamented genera of jumping spiders is the genus Habronattus, occurring primarily in North America. If you want to find our more information about the genus Habronattus, go to its branch page in the Tree of Life.
Here are some Quicktime movies of courtship dances of various species. The small squares in the grid on which the spiders are standing are 1 millimeter square. Touch on the picture of the spider to see the movie. If you want to see more pictures of a species, touch on the species name. If your media player has trouble displaying these movies, you can download the free Quicktime player here.
- (3MB) Habronattus americanus. This variable species is found throughout the western U.S. and Canada. Most populations have males with brilliant red palpi and first femora.
(4.2MB) Habronattus tarsalis. Another geographically variable species. This dance could definitely be put to music.
(4.9MB) Habronattus tuberculatus. A species of the western edge of the Great Plains. This species, H. tarsalis and H. americanus are closely related to one another.
Habronattus jucundus. Males of this species have first and third legs modified with colors, spines and fringes. They have a correspondingly complex display consisting of several stages, which is therefore presented as three movies:
Habronattus coecatus. Males of this species also have first and third legs modified, and a complex display:
(3.6MB) Habronattus carolinensis. A species of southeastern U.S. whose males have first legs strangely ornamented at their tips with twisted spines and small tufts of hair.
(2MB) Habronattus altanus. Males of this species have shiny purplish blue scales on the chelicerae.
(3MB) Habronattus decorus. Males of this species, with a pink metallic sheen on the reddish abdomen, of course raise the abdomen during courtship.