common white-cheeked jumping spider

(Pelegrina proterva)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

common white-cheeked jumping spider



NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Abundant in woodlands




Weedy fields and nearby trees and shrubs


Female Body Length: to 3 16 (4.4 to 5.6 mm)

Male Body Length: (3.3 to 4.2 mm)

Legspan: ¼ to 5 16 (6 to 8 mm)

Photo by Alfredo Colon

Common white-cheeked jumping spider, also called reckless jumper, is a small jumping spider. It occurs in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains and in adjacent Canadian provinces.

The female is to 3 16 (4.4 to 5.6 mm) long and has a ¼ to 5 16 (6 to 8 mm) legspan. The male is smaller, (3.3 to 4.2 mm) long.

The front part of the body (cephalothorax) is high and convex when viewed from the side. The plate covering the cephalothorax (carapace) is mostly rusty brown, with a broad white stripe on each side and black in the area around the eyes. There are four pairs of eyes arranged in what appears to be three rows occupying only two fifths of the carapace. The first row of four eyes, consisting of the anterior median eyes (AMEs) and anterior lateral eyes (ALEs), is curved backward. The AMEs are the middle and forward-most pair of these. They are by far the largest of all of the eyes and can be moved. The AMEs are about twice as large as the ALEs. The second row of two eyes are the posterior median eyes (PMEs). They are very small and are barely or not at all noticeable on most photos. The third row of eyes is the posterior lateral eyes (PLEs). The PLEs are set far back on the head and are only slightly wider apart than the first row of four eyes (AMEs and ALEs together). The PMEs and ALEs form a wide rectangle. There is a bold white band on the forehead that touches the top of the AMEs, and a broad white stripe on each cheek that is separated from the side stripe by a dark area. The narrow plate above the mouth (clypeus) has a prominent, diamond-shaped patch of white scales between the AMEs. The prominent mouthparts (chelicerae), corresponding to jaws, are brown. They do not have a patch of pale scales and do not have a ridge near the base of the fang.

The abdomen is on the male is iridescent bronze with a broad white stripe on each side. On the female it is tan or yellowish with four pairs of squarish black spots separated by oblique to transverse white stripes.

The legs are short, oriented forward, and adapted for jumping. On the male they have alternating black and pale areas form distinct rings. On the female they are yellowish with brown rings and spots.





Life Cycle

Young spiderlings overwinter and become mature adults in the spring.



Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 29, 30.

Conservation Biology of Special Concern Jumping Spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) of Minnesota; Ehmann, William J. Ehmann; 12/2/2002.


What’s in a Name?
The species epithet proterva means “reckless”, and may refer to the spiders bold behavior.



Araneae (spiders)





No Rank:

Entelegynae (eight-eyed spiders)


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RTA clade


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Salticidae (jumping spiders)


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no rank:







Pelegrina (white-cheeked jumping spider)




common white-cheeked jumping spider

reckless jumper









The hard, upper (dorsal), shell-like covering (exoskeleton) of the body or at least the thorax of many arthropods and of turtles and tortoises. In crustaceans, it covers the cephalothorax.



The front part of a spider’s body, composed of the head region and the thoracic area fused together. Eyes, legs, and antennae are attached to this part.



The pair of stout mouthparts, corresponding to jaws, in arachnids and other arthropods in the subphylum Chelicerata.



On insects, a hardened plate on the face above the upper lip (labrum).



Visitor Photos

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Alfredo Colon
  common white-cheeked jumping spider    Photos



  jumping spider (Pelegrina galathea/proterva) (O)
Bill Keim
  jumping spider (Pelegrina galathea/proterva) (O)  



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Leaf Life: Reckless Jumper
Carl Barrentine

Published on May 30, 2015

This short film introduces the male Reckless Jumper (Pelegrina proterva), a small salticid spider that was found foraging for prey on a Basswood leaf. Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, Arvilla, North Dakota (30 May 2015).

  Pelegrina Proterva Jumping Spider-Male

Published on Jul 27, 2012

Male pelegrina jumping spider I found while looking for some food for my jumping spiders. I found this one the same evening I found the red jumping spider. The very next morning I would end up finding a female and a male Phidippus Carolinensis and also a large female platycryptus undatus jumping spider. No video of her yet because she laid eggs and built a sac, so it will be a while before I can record some video of her.

  Pelegrina sp. (proterva) - Jumping spider
Dick Walton

Published on Nov 25, 2010

male and female Pelegrina sp. jumping spider

  Cute Jumping Spider-Female Pelegrina Proterva

Published on Sep 5, 2013

This jumping spider was recorded in the front yard right by the woods. I found out that it is a female Pelegrina Proterva jumping spider.




Visitor Sightings

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Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

common white-cheeked jumping spider






Created: 8/23/2019

Last Updated:

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