Use of prey-specific predatory behaviour by North American jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae) of the genus Phidippus



Prey-capture behaviour of seven species of Phidippus is studied using two types of prey, house flies (adult Musca domestica) and caterpillars (cabbage loopers, larval Trichoplusia ni). Each species is shown to be a versatile predator which uses a different prey-specific prey-capture behaviour depending on whether prey is a fly or a caterpillar: spiders approached the two types of prey differently and leapt on them from different distances. Interspecific differences among Phidippus species are not pronounced, cxcept for variation in the distance from which spiders jumped and the spider's success at capturing a fly on the first try.