Hey guys, today I want to introduce you to the cutest spiders in the world! No, not tarantulas. It’s the jumping spiders. Yes, jumping spiders are the cutest spiders of them all, and in this post, you’ll find out all about them. I’ll include plenty of photos and videos to show you what I’m talking about.
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Table of Contents
What are jumping spiders?
Jumping spiders a a group of extremely cute spiders that constitute the largest family of all spiders called Salticidae. This family of cute spiders has more than 6,000 species – 13% of all species of spiders!
In spite of their small brain size, jumping spiders can actually be taught a thing or two and have been shown to be able to learn in several different contexts. For example, researchers at the University of Manchester trained a regal jumping spider to jump on command.
These cuties are generally carnivorous, but many species have been known to include nectar in their diets and one species (that we know of) feeds exclusively on nectar.
Where to find jumping spiders?
Jumping spiders live all over the world, except in the North and South Pole and there could be one watching you with its eight eyes right now.
A species called Euophrys omnisuperstes lives at 22,000 ft in the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, making it a candidate for the highest known permanent resident on Earth.
Although some of them can be found chilling pretty high up, most of the jumping spider species reside in tropical forests.
Why are they called jumping spiders?
I think you already know the answer – jumping spiders can jump really far. I’ve seen mentions of up to 50 times their body length. And they don’t even have to have big muscular legs like those show-offs – the grasshoppers.
So what makes them such good jumpers? Well, they have, get this, internal hydraulic system that extends their limbs by altering the pressure of their body fluid within them. How neat is that!
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What do jumping spiders look like?
They have several distinct features that set them apart from other types of spiders and makes them look so darn cute.
Let’s start with the eyes of which they have four pairs of eyes; three secondary pairs that are fixed and a main pair that is movable. Two front eyes in the middle are what give them superior eyesight and a somewhat anthropomorphized appearance.
Their body length generally ranges from 1 to 25 mm (0.04–0.98 in), and is full of fine hairs that are critical to their survival. The hairs are called trichobothria and they help them hear. Infact, they are so sensitive that they are able to pick up air movement down to one ten billionth of a meter.
What are their best features?
Their best feature is kind of obvious – it’s the gleaming, cartoonish eyes. Jumping spiders have some of the best vision among arthropods and use it in courtship, hunting, and navigation. They have a telephoto lens, tiered retina, and UV-sensitive photoreceptor. This all enables them to see the full visible spectrum as well as in the UV-range.
Their other best feature, and the one from which they got their name, is they can jump like there’s no tomorrow. They usually move unobtrusively and fairly slowly but in response to danger, or when hunting, they can jump up to 50 times their own body length.
Are jumping spiders poisonous?
Jumping spiders aren’t poisonous but they are venomous. It is a super powerful venom that they can use to kill; well, other small insects or spiders. It’s not that strong to be honest. I mean, have you seen the size of them? They are tiny! Yes, yes, black widow isn’t huge and it can kill a human no problem.
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Can jumping spiders bite?
Still, you shouldn’t be afraid of jumping spiders’ venom. Even in the unlikely case of a jumping spider biting you, it shouldn’t be much worse than a mosquito bite.
Deaths from spider venom are extremely rare since the invention of antivenin. For example, between 2000 and 2008, there were more than 23,000 black widow bites reported in 47 states and there were no deaths!
Are jumping spiders friendly?
They do look friendly, don’t they? And I guess they are kinda friendly (for a spider). If you look and behave unintimidating towards them, they might take an interest in you. I mean, they’re not going to ask you how your day was obviously, but they probably won’t jump away as soon as they see you.
Are jumping spiders good pets?
You wouldn’t believe how many people keep jumping spiders as pets. They’re just so easy to find and cheap to keep as a pet.
What else makes them a good pet? Once they get more familiar with you, they will love to interact with you. Some might be more shy than others, but that all comes down to individual spiders. They’re also not demanding when it comes to
Find more info on how to properly care for jumping spiders here.
Most Popular Jumping Spiders
Peacock Spider (Maratus Volans)
These amazing jumping spiders are native to Australia and they are internet superstars. Males of this species are dancing better than John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. They display their colorful abdomen flaps during mating.
While the males are flamboyant, the females are far more aggressive towards them. If females aren’t interested but the male keeps dancing, oh boy, oh boy, they are in a world of trouble.
Females will try to attack, kill and eat the young lad. His only option is to jump away to safety.
The majority of Peacock spiders are ground dwelling and found on leaf litter or dry twigs in parts parts of Australia that include Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania.
Like other jumping spiders, they do not rely on webs to catch prey like insects and other spiders.
Daring Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)
This species is bigger than your run-of-the-mill jumping spider. Adult males range from 4–15 millimeters in body length, with an average of 8 mm. Adult females range from 4–18 millimeters in body length, with an average of 11 mm.
They are characterized by black colored body with a pattern of spots and stripes on their abdomen and legs and by their brilliant, iridescent green chelicerae (mouthparts or jaws).
This daring species is common in North America and you can find them in your garden, on your fence or wall or in a field or grassland behind your house.
Zebra Spider (Salticus Scenicus)
Zebra spiders are widespread across Britain, Europe, and North America where they can be found on walls, plants, and fences on sunny days; and also indoors on window sills, often in the corner behind curtains.
Zebra spiders tend to hunt smaller spiders but also mosquitos twice their length.