The Black Headed jumping spider is a unique genus of spider that belongs to the family Salticidae. According to experts, the jumping spiders that make up this genus extend westwards to New Guinea, New Zealand, and Australia.
In Australia, where Trite has a widespread distribution, there are four recognized species of this jumping spider, and they include the likes of Trite grayi and Trite Concinna, which have their base from the Northfolk Islands to Lord Howe. Other species include the Trite ornata and Trite albopilosa, which are mostly spotted around mainland Australia. As we proceed, we will show you why the Trite jumping spider is unique and what they look like in terms of physical description and size.
So without further ado, let’s take you through everything you need to know about the Trite jumping spider, starting with its scientific name.
What is their scientific name?
Because we are looking at a genus of jumping spider that is made up of so many jumping spider species, we may not be able to provide you with a general name that encapsulates this genus. That said, jumping spider species like the Trite planiceps are commonly called the black-headed jumping spider. Other species like the Trite auricona are more commonly referred to as the golden-brown jumping spider.
And since this genus of spider doesn’t have a general name they are called, experts have mostly referred to them by their base scientific name, Trite.
Physical description and size
One way to differentiate one jumping spider from the other is to observe their physical characteristics. To this end, we will give you some insight into what Trite jumping spiders looks like, and we will start with their physical description and size.
In terms of size, Black Headed jumping spiders are medium-sized jumping spiders and have a body length that ranges between 6 to 13.5 mm. While females appear a little bigger than their male counterparts, the difference isn’t so much.
When you look at their heads from above, it is somewhat rounded and pear-shaped, and usually, this is most comprehensive behind the posterior lateral eyes. Compared to other jumping spiders, Trite jumping spiders have a unique carapace that is high and comes in at about the level of their posterior lateral eyes.
Additionally, their chelicerae feature a single but strongly asymmetrical and retromarginal tooth. A close look that their legs show that their first pair of legs are longer than others. Unfortunately, it is not as massive as what you’ll see with other species of jumping spiders.
While their elongated abdomen appears golden brown with unmistakable central yellow stripes to complement it, their cephalothorax and first pair of legs are described as jet black. And when their abdomen doesn’t feature conspicuous centra yellow stripes, you’ll sometimes notice a brilliant shade of greenish sheen.
Although adult males of this species have an elongated pair of first legs and a row of dark hairs just above their frontal eyes, their chelicerae are more robust than those of their female counterparts.
Where are they from?
Despite their widespread distribution, the Trite spp. are reported to have their base in New Zealand, Australia, and New Guinea. Even though there have been reported sightings of this jumping spider species in Europe and Asia, experts believe they were introduced in this region. In Australia, where our leaper friends have a widespread distribution, they are believed to occur on Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands.
And as far as their habitat is concerned, Trite spp. have been seen spotted in rolled-up leaves of flax. They also like to hang around dropped cabbage trees, underneath stones, ground surfaces, and vegetation.
Like most jumping spiders, the Trite spp. is an obligate carnivore and will feast on small and large insects. In some instances, juveniles of this jumping spider species have been observed to feast on small flies and aphids.
According to experts who have spent years observing the Trite spp, this jumping spider is somewhat selective about prey choices and has a knack for small flies and tachinids. Another unique thing about this jumping spider is that they have to learn what is good to eat. Surprisingly, juveniles of this jumping spider will only eat slaters at least once during their lifespan and will shy away whenever they come across those kinds of prey.
What is their temperament?
Because of their stern and scary look, most spiders have earned a pretty nasty reputation, but guess what? Jumping spiders such as the Trite spp. are changing this narrative, one species at a time.
While our leaper friends will act aggressively towards their prey, they are calm and collected when they encounter humans. Because of their friendly demeanor, many spider enthusiasts enjoy watching them display their exciting spider antics.
And just so you know, the Trite jumping spider will make a great pet, so consider adding it to your exotic pet collections.
Is it dangerous or venomous to humans?
Due to their calm and docile nature, bites from this jumping spider species are very rare. And when they do, they only do so to defend themselves as a last resort. While a bite from this jumping spider species will leave some slight irritations and redness, you should feel better after 72 hours. Although their venom is potent against prey, it doesn’t harm humans in any way.
So if you’re wondering if this jumping spider species is dangerous, then rest assured that you have nothing to worry about. Plus, they are among the most friendly species of jumping spiders we have come across.
Frequently asked questions
How friendly is the Trite spp.?
Forget about their stern look; the Trite spp. is one of the most friendly spiders we have come across. And except they feel threatened or handled roughly, they rarely bite.
Where can you find them?
Despite their widespread distribution, our leaper friends are native to New Zealand, Australia, and New Guinea. So if you’re looking to get a glimpse of what they look like, these are the areas you should be exploring.
How often should they be fed?
If you know anything about jumping spiders, then you’ll know that they don’t eat much. And even though they can go a week without food, it’s best to feed them once every couple of days.