Jumping Spider Facts - Animals of North America

Their small sizes and ability to blend into their natural environs have enabled members of the Jumping Spider family to have such a large diaspora and global range.
Their small sizes and ability to blend into their natural environs have enabled members of the Jumping Spider family to have such a large diaspora and global range.

5. Physical Description

At the extent of a Jumping Spider's physical maturity in adulthood, this tiny little spider is can grow to between 0.59 and 0.86 inches (15 and 22 millimeters), and can jump over distances up to three times its own size. This impressive jumping prowess is a mechanism used as a hunting technique that has been developed by these spiders through the ages. In order achieve such phenomenal leaps and bounds, Jumping spiders will undergo a sudden change in blood pressure, which helps propel the spider upwards in the direction it wishes to go. What’s especially unique about this spider is not necessarily its jumping technique, but rather the fact that it is a member of the the largest known family of spiders, Salticidae, an arachnid Family containing 13% of all extant spider species. Jumping spiders have a total of six legs and four eyes, along with a fuzzy outer coat, which may exhibit any of a wide range of colors.

4. Diet

Though primarily carnivores dining upon other small arthropods, Jumping spiders may at times consume plant matter as well, especially from nectar-producing flora. As stated above, the Jumping Spider uses surprise to its advantage by jumping on its prey from far away. Along with this, the spider also uses its four eyes to locate its prey, even at night. These eyes are also responsible for the peripheral vision and motion detection abilities of the spider. The Jumping spiders will also feed on blood-fed mosquitoes, which has left them dubbed with the nickname of “Vampire Spider”.

3. Habitat and Range

The Jumping Spider Family (Salticidae) contains more than 500 known Genera and almost ten times as many known species. Certain species of these spiders span all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico, usually located in wooded areas. In fact, their range extends over most of the terrestrial globe, excluding the Arctic and Antarctic Regions, from hot, arid deserts to the highest Himalayan peaks. That being, said and for no apparent reason, the Jumping Spider will opt not to live in mature hardwood forests. Some researchers theorize that the trees therein could omit a smell perceived as being unpleasant to the spider.

2. Behavior

Like all spiders, they creep slowly unless hunting or under threat. Under such times of perceived danger, these spiders can jump over distances up to three times their own sizes, which attributes to one of their most unique qualities. These Spiders also don't weave webs and, also unlike most spiders, they do produce milk-like secretions. They do still secrete silk, however, but this is not used for webs. Instead, silk is used to mark retreats from initial jumping spots as a sort of "safety harness" in case a jump does not go as planned.

1. Reproduction

Jumping Spiders of both sexes utilize a variety of bodily vibrations and shake-like dancing, in addition to producing a wide-ranging array of auditory buzzes and high-pitched noises, in order to attract potential breeding partners. As males often will fight for mating rights with one another, larger male Jumping spiders are often more likely to be successful in achieving copulation rights than their smaller rivals. The silk of a jumping spider is not only for "safety harnesses," but is also used as a means of protection for their eggs. One female spider can lay up to 50 eggs per birth, although it is undetermined how many of these will likely make it to adulthood.


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