Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Bug


Hairy legs
Hairy legs  

I was washing my dishes and found this on the wall behind the faucet.  It is 1am and I am located in Las Vegas.  I have attached a picture.

Dear Roy - This is a jumping spider in the family Salticidae. They are active hunters that stalk their prey rather than spinning a capture web. They have excellent eyesight and a relatively large 'brain' as well - see http://tinyurl.com/298zdfb for details. These spiders also sometimes appear to exhibit what I can only call a sense of curiosity, as I have seen them apparently watching me closely while working in my garden, even returning after I have gently shooed them away so I wouldn't accidentally harm them. They also are not at all dangerous to humans.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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