I shot these pictures of a spider having a yellow jacket for lunch on my hummingbird feeder. I am curious as to what kind of spider it is. It has a white spot on its head. I haven’t seen one like this before. Thanks.
Jay Stamps, Concord, California
It’s called a Daring Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax). They’re about a quarter to a half inch long. Very commonly found in backyards, gardens, on tree trunks, etc., throughout North America. You sometimes find them in your house. Dangerous to insects but harmless to humans. Jumping spiders get their name from the amazing leaps they make when chasing and grabbing insects. By the way, that white spot is actually on its abdomen, not its head. This spider can also be identified by its metallic green chelicerae — the two front appendages with the spider’s fangs on the ends that it uses to grab and hang on to its prey. Grrrr! /Gary
Daring Jumping Spider hanging onto wasp on hummingbird feeder. Note spider’s green metallic chelicerae with fangs (just below black eyes) that it is using to grasp the wasp. Photo by Jay Stamps, Concord, CA.