Menemerus bivittatus (Gray Wall Jumper)

About Menemerus bivittatus

Taxonomic Hierarchy

→ Kingdom: Animalia
→ Phylum: Arthropoda
→ Class: Arachnida
→ Order: Araneae
→ Family: Salticidae
→ Genus: Menemerus
→ Species: Menemerus bivittatus

Common Name (Official / AAS)

Gray Wall Jumper

Other Common Names

Jumping Spider

Author

Author of species name: Léon Jean Marie Dufour. First year published: 1831, as Salticus bivittatus.

Pronunciation

men-eh-MAIR-uhs bih-vih-TAY-tuss

Meaning

Menemerus is a fusion of Greek words that roughly translates to “moon thigh,” referring to the crescent shape of the male’s palpal femur segment (Cameron 2005). In Latin, bivittatus translates to “two striped” or “twice ribboned.”

Identifying Traits of Menemerus bivittatus

Size

Body length (excluding legs) of adult female ranges from 7-10 mm; adult males range from 5-9 mm.

Female Primary Colors

Male Primary Colors

Eye diagram of Menemerus bivittatus

Eyes

Total of eye eyes, arranged in a manner typical of all jumping spiders (family Salticidae). Spider must usually be viewed from above to see the two posterior (back) eye rows, which are located on the back of the carapace (they are visible in our diagram, but only partially). The anterior median eyes (AME) are the two large, round, forward-facing pair. The two eyes adjacent to those in the front are the anterior lateral eyes (ALE). Located further back on the carapace are the two rows of posterior eyes. The tiny ones are the posterior median eyes (PME), and in the very back are the posterior lateral eyes (PLE).

Legs

All legs are densely hairy, and more or less annulated (banded) with black and gray. In adult males, the front pair of legs have more black and are thicker/heavier than the rest. Like most jumping spiders, the legs are somewhat short in relation to body size, especially so in females. Each tip of leg (tarsus) has 2 claws and what is called a “claw tuft” (specialized cluster of hairs that help the spider climb).

Body

Overall light gray but boldly marked with black and white. The genders are sexually dimorphic in color pattern; the mature males with a black stripe down the center of the abdomen and the females have thin black stripes down the sides of their body. Carapace and abdomen are relatively flattened. Adult male has a smaller abdomen than the female.

Range of Menemerus bivittatus

Menemerus bivittatus can be found in the following states, provinces and territories across the United States and Canada. Our current understanding of each spider's distribution is drawn from numerous scientific publications and online spider submissions, in order to be as accurate as possible. It is important to remember that spiders do not adhere to the territorial lines decided on by humans, therefore these ranges are subject to change.

Important Range Notes

This species is non-native to the USA; it was introduced here from the Old World tropics. It has likewise been introduced to most other pantropical areas across the world. Note that some references report that this species is found as far north as West Virginia, however, there is not currently an established population there (spider was merely transported there on accident), as was the one collected in Minnesota (Richman et al. 2012).

United States

Canada

Species not seen in Canada.

Additional Information

Habitat

Found almost exclusively on the exterior walls of buildings or other man-made structures here in the United States. They are active hunters during the day and spend the night hidden away in crevices.

Web

The Gray Wall Jumper is a hunting spider that does not spin a web for prey capture. However, they do use silk for drag lines and constructing egg sacs and retreats.

Season

Mature individuals may be found most times of the year, though sightings are more common during spring and summer.

Food

Prey is mostly small flies that either bask on walls or are attracted to lights at night, but anything they can catch is fair game. Researchers have even witnessed this species taking down moths that were easily twice the spider’s weight (Robinson & Valerio 1977). The jumping spider may hold the moth in its jaws and drop down on a drag line while it waits for it to become subdued by the venom.

Lifecycle

Egg sac is lens-shaped and houses 25-40 eggs. The sac is placed inside a silken retreat where the female spider guards it and the spiderlings that later emerge. It takes approximately three weeks from egg-laying to dispersal of the spiderlings. Jumping spiders are typically an annual species, living approximately one year.

Remarks

Females and juveniles of this species may be mistaken for a member of the genus Platycryptus because of the similar coloration and habitat. Adult males may be mistaken for Plexippus paykulli (but the stripes are different).

Pictures of Menemerus bivittatus (Gray Wall Jumper)

General

Female Spiders

Male Spiders

Filtering options are grayed out when we do not have pictures for the given perspective. If you are a spider photographer, you can submit pictures of spiders to help fill any voids in our ever expanding library.
  • Menemerus bivittatus
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission
  • State: Texas
  • Country: United States
  • Menemerus bivittatus
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission
  • State: Texas
  • Country: United States
  • Menemerus bivittatus
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • Country: Malaysia
  • Menemerus bivittatus
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • Country: Malaysia
  • Menemerus bivittatus
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Eyes
  • City/Region: Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Cape Town
  • Country: South Africa
  • Menemerus bivittatus
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: El Franco Lee Park, Harris County
  • State: Texas
  • Country: United States
  • Menemerus bivittatus
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Miami
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Menemerus bivittatus
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Gravid
  • City/Region: Kundasang, Sabah
  • Country: Malaysia
  • Menemerus bivittatus
  • Sex: Male, FemaleMale, Female
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Fullerton
  • State: California
  • Country: United States

References and Further Reading

Various Research Papers

Scientific Diagrams and Keys for Identification

References for the Casual Reader

Species guide last updated: May 29, 2016

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