The spider world is made up of different jumping spider species, including big names like the Dendryphantina jumping spider. This intelligent spider species is a subtribe of jumping spiders and features many jumping spider species that occur particularly in the New World.
Until 1879, there wasn’t a lot of information about Dendryphantina. But since Anton Menge first described it, other experts have dug deeper to provide us with more information about our spider friend.
While there isn’t much difference between females and males of this jumping spider species, we discovered that females of the subtribe had paired spots just on their abdomen. Also, adult males of the subtribe have enlarged chelicerae. Similarly, adult females of this subtribe have S-shaped epigynal openings.
Keep reading to find more information about Dendryphantina jumping spiders and what makes them a unique species of jumping spiders.
What is their scientific name?
It’s true that most jumping spiders have a common name they are called. Unfortunately, because our spider friend is a subtribe of jumping spiders with many species in its fold, there is no general name to encapsulate this subtribe of jumping spiders. Instead, their scientific name Dendryphantina has gained much precedence over the years.
Like the myriad of jumping spiders we have encountered, Dendryphantina jumping spiders are pretty smart jumping spiders with elaborate displays and behaviors that make them easy to identify. While they may not be as big as other jumping spiders, their physical attributes make them conspicuous.
If you want to learn more about our leaper friends, especially as it relates to their physical attributes and size, you’re welcome to read further.
Physical description and size
While they may not be among the biggest jumping spiders out there, as small to medium-sized spiders, Dendryphantina jumping spiders are daring and will fearlessly confront both prey and predators alike. As per their size, this jumping spider species measures between 5 to 7 mm. Plus, there isn’t any significant difference in size among males and females of this jumping spider species.
When it comes to their physical attributes, Dendryphantina jumping spiders have distinctly dark and coppery red hairs. When observed closely, this resembles a crown on their head. As per their general appearance, our furry friends debut a dominant shade of black and brown all over their bodies. And because of their unique appearance, you can easily distinguish them from a group of jumping spiders.
Thanks to their long legs and their impressive vision, Dendryphantina jumping spiders can easily spot prey from some distance away and pounce on them with utmost precision. Adult females of this subtribe of jumping spiders appear to have pencil-like hairs just below their posterior medial eyes. Also, they have scanty hairs on their distal femur and first patella.
Where are they from?
Given their widespread distribution, you’ll come across members of this jumping spider subtribe in almost all countries. That said, Dendryphantina jumping spiders mostly occur in the New World, particularly in South and Northern America.
Today, they have extended their reach to the Carribeans and other surrounding areas. According to reports, Dendryphantina jumping spiders are growing in numbers in countries like Cuba, and it is even believed that this country is home to at least seven species of jumping spiders that make up this subtribe. For those looking to know what our leaper friends look like, you’ll not go wrong to look around leaf litter or surrounding areas in these locations.
When they are not outside, you may sometimes stumble on them around human settlement as they like to roam around, searching for food. While they aren’t considered largely dangerous, their swift jumping skills can leave one startled.
One thing that seems to be common among most jumping spiders is their ability to fend for themselves. So it’s no surprise to learn that Dendryphantina jumping spiders can effectively hunt and fend for themselves in the wild.
While traditional spiders depend on their webs for hunting, Dendryphantina jumping spiders use their excellent vision to stalk and lure their prey. Once they approach jumping distance, Dendryphantina jumping spiders pounce on their prey using their superb jumping skills.
Though our spider friends maintain their cool when they come across humans, they will act aggressively towards their prey and take them out using their precise jumping skills. In their quest to feed themselves, Dendryphantina jumping spiders tend to roam from place to place and sometimes wander indoors searching for food.
While they prefer small insects like flies, ants, mosquitoes, aphids, and more, they will also feed on large insects like crickets as well as small web-building spiders. And when they aren’t hunting, their brilliant eyesight and excellent jumping skills allow them to evade perceived threats from predators.
What is their temperament?
Even though spiders have earned a nasty reputation, no thanks to their shady antics, jumping spiders such as Dendryphantina jumping spiders are changing the narrative one species at a time. While they will act viciously and aggressively towards prey, they tend to maintain their cool when they come across humans. Sometimes, they may even run away when they spot humans. And because they are generally harmless and not aggressive towards humans, many exotic pet lovers wouldn’t be disappointed to keep them as pets.
Is it dangerous or venomous to humans?
Jumping spiders such as the Dendryphantina are capable of aggressively attacking their prey. And when this happens, it releases potent venom that can incapacitate prey. The exciting part is that its venom doesn’t harm humans. Should in case you ever get bitten by Dendryphantina, you’ll only experience slight irritations and redness that disappears completely after some days.
Frequently asked questions
Are they deadly?
Without a doubt, our leaper friends act viciously towards prey, but when they encounter humans, they are a lot gentle and friendly. Sure, their venom can instantly paralyze prey, but it doesn’t harm humans.
Can you keep them in captivity?
Because of their friendly nature and demeanor, Dendryphantina can be raised in captivity without any hassle. And so long you feed them properly, you should be fine.
How strong is their venom?
Like most jumping spiders, the Dendryphantina venom is only potent against prey. With humans, their venom doesn’t do any real damage.