T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Jumping spider (Helpis minitabunda) Bronze hopper

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Salticidae
Subfamily: Amycinae
Tribe: Astiini
Genus: Helpis
Species: H. minitabunda
Binomial name: Helpis minitabunda
Common name: Bronze hopper, Bronze Aussie Jumper

Helpis minitabunda is another species of jumping spider. It is from eastern Australia and was first seen in New Zealand in1972 but is now common on the North Island.  It has a slender body which is light brown in colour. They hunt by jumping on small insects. They need very good eyesight to do this hence the very large front pair of eyes and their head moves. The males (10mm) are larger than the females (8 mm). This is quite an exceptional case in the world of spiders which usually males are smaller.  The males front legs are far longer than the females and have a white ring on them. The male of this species will protect the nest while the female is inside the nest.

A female Helpis minitabunda


Head of the female. A female's pedipalps are not swollen like those of males. Males have specialised, swollen pedipalps that are used to transfer sperm to the female during mating. 


Young male


A young male spider


An adult.
 

A male with a white ring on its foreleg at the lower end of its tibia and the tips of his pedipalps are swollen.


A male with a white ring on its foreleg at the lower end of its tibia






Small male with swollen pedipalps.


A female


The underside of Helpis minitabunda.

A common fruit fly being eaten.

Just starting to weave a retreat




The retreat and nest of a Helpis minitabunda. It contains its spiderlings.  

Two of the spiderlings inside the nest. They have not yet developed the adult colours.  4 mm body length.
  

The is a video courtesy of Richard Jones of male dominance and territorial display in which the males size each other up to compare fang size and leg span is a fascinating duel that offers extra appreciation to this gorgeous little jumping spider. The male dominance and territorial display in which the males size each other up to compare fang size and leg span is a fascinating duel that offers extra appreciation to this gorgeous little jumping spider. 


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/