The Cosmophasis jumping spider is a beautiful and colorful species of jumping spider popular in South and Southeast Asia. This intelligent jumper is known for its striking and shinny ultraviolet light.
Like other jumping spiders, our furry friend is a member of the family Salticidae and belongs to the genus Cosmophasis. Because of its unique characteristic, it has been commonly spotted on green vegetation.
When viewed under ultraviolet light, this jumping spider species displays extreme dimorphism. Unfortunately, while males tend to reflect UV on all their body parts during intraspecific interaction, their female counterparts and juveniles do not reflect UV at all.
As many researchers have agreed, this difference in UV reflection has to do with sexual signaling. And just so you know, this phenomenon is also common among some butterflies, especially several species of Colias and Gonepteryx.
Read on to find more exclusive information about the Cosmophasis jumping spider.
What is their scientific name?
Our spider friend is scientifically referred to as the Cosmophasis umbratica, and that’s because it belongs to the genus Cosmophasis. That said, our spider friend has other common names, including tropical ornate jumping spider, shiny jumping spider, and green iridescent garden jumper.
While the Taxonomist Eugene Simon is credited with proposing the genus Cosmophasis in 1901, there are currently over 59 known genus species of this spider. Plus, the species has its root in Latin as the term umbra connotes night shadow.
Where do they come from?
Our furry friends love the warm weather available in tropical regions; this explains why they have been sighted in areas of India to Sumatra. Because they love low vegetations, you’ll commonly find them hiding in between plants in extravagant gardens. Also, you may find them squeezed in between tree trunks.
In open areas, you’ll most likely find them on leaves and flowers of tropical plants.
Unlike other jumping spiders, the Cosmophasis is most active when exposed to sunlight; this is why they are mostly spotted in the mornings and early afternoons.
If you want to catch a glimpse of what our spider friends look like, you should check around the South and Southeast Asia regions.
According to Joseph KH in one of his guidebooks, there is an overwhelming number of this species in Singapore. While our spider friend’s exact origin remains a mirage, experts believe there is a direct correlation between the Ixora plant and this spider.
Physical description and size
Our shiny jumping spider friend has a lot going for it in terms of physical description. Adult females of this species have a green cephalothorax and a blend of white, black, and brown on their abdomen. Unlike their male counterparts, females do not display significant iridescent coloration on their bodies.
On the flip side, males have a dominant green and black body, and the only difference is that they have silver-like iridescent markings around their abdominal region.
In terms of size, most males of this species appear bigger and brighter than their female counterparts. While adult males measure between 5 to 7 mm, females are slightly smaller and measure between 4 to 5 mm.
More so, males have long, slender legs that are brightly colored. This allows them to leap from palace to place.
Both males and females of this jumping spider species display sexual dimorphism in both size and color. And as long as they are well preserved, their unique colors will not fade.
What do they eat?
Thanks to their UV reflection, our spider friends rely heavily on their extraordinary vision for hunting. Giving their complex visual system, the Cosmophasis jumping spider can spot prey from almost 20 to 30 feet away.
While other spiders use webs for hunting, the Cosmophasis uses its impressive vision and impeccable jumping skills to catch prey. More so, our spider friend is believed to be nectarivorous because it feeds off the Ixora plant’s sweet nectar. Our spider friend will feast on small and large insects in the wild, including crickets, flies, and mosquitoes.
When exposed to UV light, the Cosmophasis jumping spider displays dimorphic behavior. While adult males of this species display UV light on their entire body, females and juveniles do not reflect UV light. This dimorphic behavior is an excellent example of sexual signaling in jumping spiders. During mating, males will use their reflective ability to lure their female counterparts.
When it comes to movement, our fuzzy friends move in four different ways: drumming of palps, skittering, lunging, and bobbing of their abdomen.
What is their temperament?
If you’re interested in a friendly jumping spider you can play with, you’ll not be disappointed to check out the green iridescent garden jumper. Although this spider is aggressive towards prey, it isn’t harmful to humans.
When it comes across humans, its first instinct is to get away.
Is it dangerous or venomous to humans?
Generally, jumping spiders are harmless to humans, and that’s because they rarely bite. And even when they do, it is usually out of self-defense from being handled roughly. Plus, their venoms don’t pose any threat to humans unless you’re allergic to spider bites. And because they are regarded as cute, giving their attractive and shiny metallic appearance, many exotic pet lovers want to keep them as pets.
Frequently asked questions
Do they make great pets?
One unique thing about our spider friend is their colorful appearance and friendly nature. Because they rarely bite and display unusual behaviors, many spider enthusiasts will enjoy keeping them as pets.
Can you keep the Cosmophasis in captivity?
While jumping spiders enjoy staying in the wild, many spider enthusiasts have always fancied the idea of raising our furry friends in captivity. Although that isn’t a bad idea, you have to ensure they feed correctly, so offering them feeder insects would be great.
Do they use webs for hunting?
Unlike other spiders who rely on their webs to hunt, the Cosmophasis jumping spider adopts a different approach. Thanks to its extensive eye depth and powerful vision, our spider friend has adopted a stalk and leap strategy to overwhelm prey. Because of its vicious hunting skills, its have been called the tiger of the spider world.