The Bavia Jumping spider is an intelligent species of jumping spider that belongs to the family Salticidae. While this jumping spider has a lot going on in terms of physical description and size, it is commonly sighted in oriental regions. Some species of this jumping spider extend deep into the Pacific and Australian territories.
In Australia alone, there are at least four species of the Bavia jumping spider, including popular names like Bavia aericeps, B. sexpunctata, B. modesta and B. valida. Because the Bavia jumping spider shares similar physical features with the Sandalodes superbus, they are sometimes mistaken for this jumping spider species.
If you love everything jumping spiders and want to learn more about the Bavia spp, you’re welcome to read further as today’s post is specially written to give you more insight into our leaper friends, including what they look like, what they like to eat, and their unique behavior.
What is their scientific name?
Most jumping spiders are commonly referred to by their general/common name, even though they have a scientific name they go by. Unfortunately, for the Bavia spp, we haven’t come across a general name they are referred to; instead, their scientific name, Bavia seems to be the only name our leaper friends are called.
Interestingly, their scientific name isn’t the only thing that is special about our spider friends. So read on as we take you through everything you need to know about the Bavia spp. as far as their physical description and size are concerned.
Physical description and size
Because they are powerfully built and have so much going on in terms of physical description and size, it’s easy to identify and spot the Bavia spp when you come across them. Though our leaper friends are medium to large-sized jumping spiders with a body size that ranges between 5 mm to 13 mm, they are very powerfully built. When you view their head from above, it looks somewhat rounded and widest behind the posterior lateral eyes.
Their carapace appears low and features a flattened upper surface and tufts of the Satae hanging on the gently sloping rear. Unlike other jumping spiders we have encountered, the Bavia spp spots an abdomen that is elongate-ovate.
Even though they tend to have long legs, a close look reveals that their first pair of legs are strongly built and larger than others. To add to that, they have chelicerae that feature several retromarginal teeth, with two teeth sitting just opposite their promargin.
Among males of this jumping spider species, you’ll sometimes notice some lateral protuberances on their maxillae. Also, adult males of the Bavia spp. have a palp that features a short, sharply pointed, and massive embolus that rises from the distal edge of their tegulum, extending to their proximal lobe.
Similarly, males have a short and hook-like retro-lateral tibial apophysis, which points ventrally, just away from their cymbium.
While females look so much like their male counterparts, their epigyne is covered by a prominent shield. Plus, they spot a pair of slit-like openings that connects to their insemination ducts. The distinct shield covering their epigyne, spermathecae, and highly-convoluted insemination ducts is somewhat visible.
Where do they come from?
Because our spider friends have a widespread distribution, you can find them on almost all continents. As per their origin, our leaper friends are commonly spotted in Asia and all through northern and eastern Australia.
They tend to extend from high rainforest to the inland areas of New South Wales, Queensland, and deep into the Northern territory. Two popular species of this jumping spider, Bavia aericeps and Bavia valida, have a wide distribution outside Australia.
As per their preferred habitats, you’ll most likely find our leaper friends on leaves of lower tree branches and shrubs, and that’s because they like to hang out in the open. Plus, these environments provide them with a variety of prey they can easily hunt.
The Bavia spp. has been described as a prodigious jumper who displays impeccable jumping and hunting skills in the wild. Thanks to their advanced eyesight, our leaper friends can spot prey from some distance away. And just so you know, Bavia jumping spiders are patient hunters who patiently stalk their prey and pounce on them with their devastating jump.
They feast on various prey, including small and large insects like mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, aphids, and other spiders. And because they are excellent jumpers, they can quickly get away from predators when they encounter one. If you plan to keep the Bavia spp. in the wild, you have to ensure you provide feeder insects regularly, so they don’t starve to death.
What is their temperament?
Spiders have earned a pretty bad reputation for themselves because of their daring and intimidating look. But guess what? Jumping spiders are changing the negative perception that people have about spiders in general, and that’s because of their friendly nature.
Even though they are vicious and aggressive towards prey, they act calm and collected when they encounter humans. And just so you know, their first instinct is to get away when they come across humans.
Is it dangerous or venomous to humans?
There is no denying the fact that Bavia jumpers are vicious and aggressive when they encounter their prey. And besides their devastating bite, our leaper friends have potent venoms that can paralyze their prey.
That said, their venom isn’t harmful to humans. And even if you get bitten by the Bavia spp. You’ll only experience mild pains and slight irritations that get better after a couple of days.
Frequently asked questions: Learn more about Bavia jumping spiders.
Can you raise them outside their natural environment?
Because jumping spiders tend to thrive effectively in any environment they are introduced to; it’s easy to raise them outside of their natural habitats. So if you’re planning to raise this spider in captivity, rest assured that you’ll not encounter any issues if you feed it correctly.
Are females bigger than their male counterparts?
Even though most female jumping spiders are slightly bigger than their male counterparts, we discovered that both males and females of the Bavia species are somewhat equal in size.
What is their distribution?
While Bavia jumping spiders are distributed throughout Australia and Asia, they have been reports of isolated species found in Madagascar.