Euophrys omnisuperstes know as the Himalayan Jumping Spider is a small jumping spider species found in the Himalayas and lives at an elevation of 22,000 ft. Because they love the Himalayas and Mount Everest’s temperate regions, our spider friends are regarded as the highest known permanent residents in our world.
Thanks to their unique adaptation skills, Himalayan jumping spiders will squeeze themselves into rock debris and feed on tiny insects like stray springtails and flies. Although they may not be as colorful as the elegant golden jumping spider, they have a distinct color that makes them easily identified.
Read on as we unveil all the unique details and potentials of the Himalayan jumping spider.
What is their scientific name?
Although they are generally called Himalayan jumping spiders, since they are mostly found in this region, this jumping spider is scientifically called Euophrys omnisuperstes. While the Himalayan and Everest Mount areas are super cold, this jumping spider has adapted and thrived very well, despite the extreme weather conditions in this environment.
How they were discovered
The Himalayan jumping spider was discovered by Richard Hingston, a naturalist, in 1924, during the British expedition to Mount Everest. According to his observation, our spider friends have lived permanently around rocky areas, wrapped up by snow and ice at 22,000 ft.
Although he observed that Himalayan jumping spiders cannibalize each other for food, many experts have described his observation as a self-defeating notion. Plus, different supporting views state that this jumping spider species were blown there and were not permanent residents.
Fortunately, in 1954, Lawrence Swan and his team joined the American expedition to Makalu, which is in the Himalayan region, to re-discover our furry friends. Based on his observation, Swan indeed confirmed that Euophrys omnisuperstes were permanent residents from 18000 ft to 20,000 ft.
Physical description and size
Like we said earlier, even though the Himalayan Jumping Spider doesn’t look as brightly colored as the Elegant Golden jumping spider, they spot a consistent color that makes them easy to identify.
In terms of color, both males and females have a predominantly dark brown color, with some patch of paler and whitish hair on their head. That said, males appear to be a lot darker than their female counterparts. Plus, their abdomen is described as black, instead of brownish-black.
With females, you’ll observe a fringe of pale and long brown hairs on their anterior eyes. While their eyes are pretty close together, they are more or less equally spaced. Males have two maxillae with an outgrowth that is missing in females.
In terms of size, our furry friends don’t have much going for them, and that’s because of their small size. And just so you know, females are slightly bigger than males. While females have a total body length of 5mm, the males are somewhat smaller as they measure around 4mm in size.
Habitat and distribution
Because of their unique characteristics, Himalayan jumping spiders are found in the cold regions of the Himalayas and on Mount Everest. They have been sighted around Makalu, which very close to the border with Tibet. In this region, our furry friends have been observed in rocky areas surrounded by snow and ice. Over the years, some specimen have been collected at altitudes ranging between 14,500 ft and 19,500 ft.
The specimen collected by Richard Hingston were believed to be sighted at 22,000 ft.
What do they eat?
Generally, spiders are excellent hunters who can fend for themselves in the wild. With the Himalayan jumping spider, you see a daring spider that isn’t scared to take on small and large insects. Thanks to their extraordinary vision, our spider friends can stalk their prey and take them out with precision jumps.
While they would naturally feast on small insects, the Himalayan Jumping Spider has a particular fondness for springtails and flies. Occasionally, they feed on crickets, grasshoppers, roaches, mosquitoes, or spiders of their kind if they are starving.
Although our fuzzy friends are used to the extreme weather conditions of the Himalayas, they can quickly adapt to any environment they are introduced to. So if you plan to keep them in captivity, you have to make sure you care for them properly. And part of caring for them includes offering them feeder insects so they don’t starve.
What is their temperament?
Based on observation, the Himalayan jumping spider is as friendly as other jumping spiders we have encountered. And even though they are thought to cannibalize their kinds, they aren’t harmful to humans. Unless they feel threatened or are handled roughly, our spider friends rarely bite. And when they do, you’ll only experience mild pain and slight irritations that subsides after a couple of days.
Because of their friendly nature, exotic pet owners are looking to add them to their collection.
Is it dangerous or venomous to humans?
There has been a lot of arguments as to why spiders are vicious creatures. But guess what, jumping spiders are changing the narrative one species at a time. While our fuzzy friends are known to have potent venom that can paralyze prey, their venom isn’t harmful to humans. And should you ever get bitten by a Himalayan jumping spider, you’ll only have slight pain, redness, and irritations that disappears after a couple of days. Except you’re allergic to spider bites, you have nothing to worry about when dealing with the Himalayan jumping spider.
Frequently asked questions
Do Himalayan jumping spiders use webs for hunting?
Unlike the average spider that uses its web to hunt, the Himalayan jumping spider doesn’t use its web to track down prey. Instead, it uses its impeccable vision to stalk prey and take them out with its precision jumps.
How often do they eat?
Generally, jumping spiders don’t eat very much and can go almost a week without food. But to ensure they are cared for properly, you can feed them once every two to three days.
What is their lifespan/longevity?
It’s an open secret that jumping spiders have a pretty short lifespan. In the wild, our spider friends can live for up to 6 months to about a year. Also, female Himalayan jumping spiders tend to live longer than their male counterparts.