Northern Green Jumping Spider
Mopsus mormon (family Salticidae)
The Northern Green Jumping Spider (Mopsus mormon) is one of the largest jumping spiders in Australia, with individuals of all ages having a mostly green body. Females have a distinctive white ‘badge’ between their eyes, bearing orange-red markings, and a yellowy-green abdomen with two thin black lines. Males are quite different to females in appearance, with darker legs, a black facial region, a dark red-brown ‘badge’ between their eyes, and unusual white ‘whiskers’ on each side of the face.
Jumping spiders do not build capture webs. They are active visual hunters, and roam around searching for prey, which they jump upon from a distance. However, like most hunting spiders, individuals will construct silken retreats in the form of a shelter, for resting, moulting and laying egg sacs.
Distribution and habitat
The Northern Green Jumping Spider is found in the tropical north of Australia, and along the tropical and subtropical eastern seaboard. In Queensland, it occurs south to the New South Wales border, and circumstantial evidence suggests it is actively expanding its range southwards. They are common residents of wet forests, gardens and other urban habitats, including around Brisbane, where they are often found in leafy, well-watered gardens. The spiders live on trees and shrubs, where they can be found hunting among vegetation.
Northern Green Jumping Spiders are timid animals and usually not aggressive. Known bites have resulted in moderate or mild local symptoms (pain, numbness or swelling). As for all bites and stings, if a bite does occur and symptoms persist, seek medical attention.
Remarks Like all jumping spiders, Northern Green Jumping Spiders are active diurnal hunters with excellent eyesight. Despite their effective camouflage in trees and shrubs, both males and females are commonly observed in eastern Queensland. Males can sometimes be found guarding penultimate female spiders in their moulting retreats, and males will also engage in ritualised antagonistic displays with other males. Females lay their egg sacs in maternal retreats constructed under leaves.