Spiders have a pretty bad reputation, but not the jumping spider. This fantastic creature is fascinating and looks darn too cute. In addition to being attractive and easy on the eyes, jumping spiders boast of an engaging personality.
If you’ve always wanted to learn some super amazing facts about these intelligent creatures, we have got you covered as we have put together plenty of fun facts that will tickle your fancy.
But before we get into all that detail, are jumping spiders dangerous? Well, let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we?
The truth is jumping spiders are poisonous. These vicious creatures use their venom to incapacitate their prey. However, you don’t have to worry about being bitten by a jumping spider because they are pretty shy and will jump or run away when humans approach.
Plus, their venom isn’t enough to cause any severe damage to humans.
Now that we have established that jumping spiders aren’t harmful to humans let’s take you through some exciting jumping spider trivia.
Known to jump at their pray
Jumping spiders don’t just look the part; they also act the part. These little leapers live up to their name. But guess what, they don’t just hop around for the fun of it. Oh yes, they use their long legs to pounce on their prey.
Interestingly, these intelligent creatures don’t have special leg muscles, as you’ll find in grasshoppers. But thanks to their unique design, jumping spiders can pounce on their prey by suddenly increasing the blood flow in their body.
When these little leapers want to jump, they contract special muscles, increasing blood flow to their legs. This increase in blood flow causes their legs to expand, sending them flying.
And for those who don’t know, jumping spiders can move almost 50 times their body length.
When it comes to impeccable vision, jumping spiders are way in the league of their own, and that’s because our fuzzy friends have four sets of eyes. They have two large eyes that are nicely fixed in front and a smaller eye on either side. And just on the top of their heads, they also have two medium-sized eyes that are accentuated by two smaller eyes.
And before we forget to add, those eight eyeballs aren’t only for staring at you. They use their excellent vision to hunt for insects and other prey. Plus, female jumping spiders use their peepers to evaluate the dance moves of their male counterparts.
Reckless with their jumps
Just because our fuzzy friends can pull off daredevil leaps doesn’t mean they will jump to their death. As a matter of fact, when jumping, these creatures are able to spin a short line of silk that doubles as a dragline. The tension from the spawn silk allows jumping spiders to adjust their body for hassle-free landing. Not just that, the silk line also provides direction that helps them stabilize their landing.
If they need to stop midair, the spawn silk also acts as a sort of safety net.
In a bid to understand their jumping potentials, researchers from the University of Manchester were able to train a regal jumping spider to hop on command. While conducting the research, they filmed the spider executing different jumping techniques. For close-range jumps, Kim, as the spider was nicknamed, perfectly executed faster and lower trajectory jumps.
While this jumping technique required more energy, it resulted in shorter flight time while increasing the odds of catching prey. Thanks to these insights, researchers are hoping that they can now improve tiny robots’ jumping skills.
Male jumping spiders are quite exciting, and you’ll learn why soon. When the male wants to get his female counterpart’s attention, it pulls off a dancing move. Amazingly, their dance steps are unique and involve hitting their abdomens on the ground while waving their legs in the air.
Also, they tap their legs in quick succession in a way that can’t be seen by the human eye.
Keep in mind that these dance moves are just the basic ones. The peacock spider is known to take the dancing step up a notch as they can woo potential mates with their unique and brightly colored fan-like extension.
Their hearing is impeccable
Although jumping spiders are missing ears and eardrums, their hearing is at an all-time high. Thanks to sensory hairs on their bodies, jumping spiders are able to take in vibrations of sound waves, which then sends signals to their brain.
And guess what, this was only discovered in 2016 by a group of researchers studying the spiders’ eye.
The exciting part is that spiders can recognize vibrations that occur from 10 feet away. If this isn’t fascinating, then we don’t know what else is.
Jumping spiders don’t use their web for hunting
While many spiders use their webs for hunting down prey, the jumping spider does things pretty differently. Thanks to their superb jumping abilities, jumping spiders can easily hunt down their prey without any hassle.
This doesn’t mean our fuzzy friends can’t make their own silk. As a matter of fact, some jumping spiders are known to spin tiny tents that act as shelters from rain and nighttime predators.
More so, whenever jumping spiders execute a leap, they keep themselves anchored using a string. This gives them a safe landing, just in case they miss their target.
Peacock spiders make super exciting mating moves
The peacock spider is darn gorgeous and quite intelligent too. This jumping spider species, which is found in Australia, takes the mating dance to a whole new level. The peacock spider woos its female counterpart by waving its third set of legs.
When the male peacock spider spots a potential mate, he executes the vibration rituals. To ensure it gets the female attention, the male flashes his brilliant and colorful peacock-like extensions.
Interestingly, the whole process can take the male peacock spider almost an hour or more, depending on the female’s level of interest.
They can mimic other animals
Some species of the jumping spiders, like the famous myrmarachne melanocephala, are masters of disguise. This species of little leapers, as they are fondly called, can disguise like ants to fool unsuspecting predators and prey.
Plus, they are a lot different from conventional jumping spiders as they appear a lot longer. Not just that, they also have a narrow false waist that makes them appear like insects.
We love this species of jumping spiders because they can easily take on the colors of different types of insects.
To complete their disguise, they tend to wave two of their legs, making them look a lot like insects.
While they may appear scary, these fantastic creatures will blow your mind once you get to know them.
Jumping spiders are everywhere
Giving their toughness and zeal to survive and thrive, jumping spiders can be found almost everywhere. While they may not do too well in extreme polar regions, you’ll find these little leapers in nearly every habitat in the world. The only way to evade jumping spiders will be if you make your way to the artic.
While jumping spiders are known to thrive very well in tropical areas, they can also survive in chillier climates.
In 1975, for instance, a British researcher who works with the British Museum of Natural History spotted a jumping spider on the slopes of Mount Everest.
They belong to a big family
Jumping spiders are bonafide members of the Salticidae family. And we wouldn’t be exaggerating to state that any reunion by members of this family will require pretty ample space. Let’s give you a glimpse of what we are talking about.
As at this moment, there are over 646 recognized extinct and fossilized genera, with at least more than 6200 species of jumping spiders. This stat shows that jumping spiders are the largest family of spiders in the spider world.
Besides their large family, jumping spiders come in a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes.
Jumping spiders are nearsighted
Although jumping spiders have eight pairs of powerful eyes, the main set helps create images, while the secondary set is built to detect light and shadows. It is believed that their secondary set of eyes are gotten from a common ancestor to both spiders and insects.
But despite their impressive number of eyes, jumping spiders are nearsighted and can’t see far into the distance.
While been nearsighted is a problem for humans, for jumping spiders, it isn’t a big issue, and that’s because their habits ensure that been nearsighted doesn’t come off as a deficiency.
Thanks to their powerful jumping skills and sharp instinct, jumping spiders can capture their prey even with their nearsightedness.
Jumping spiders can jump 50 times their body length
One of their most significant advantages is their impeccable jumping skills. Whether they are hunting or trying to evade predators, jumping spiders can jump multiple times their body length. A unique internal hydraulic system aids their superb jumping skills.
Thanks to this feature, jumping spiders can easily alter the pressure of fluids in their legs. This results in a massive spring that propels them forward.
Also, their impeccable jumping skills make it easy for them to hunt down prey. It also means that they don’t need to hunt down prey using webs like other species of spiders.
Jumping spiders have colored vision
We have spoken a great deal about their sight, but do you know that jumping spiders have colored vision? Oh yes, according to scientists, our furry friends have colored sight, which gives them an edge over other species of spiders. Not just that, reports also suggest that their vision is quite comparable to that of humans.
They have a well-established breathing system
One thing that sets jumping spiders apart from other animals is their incredible breathing system. According to researchers, their well-developed breathing system allows them to thrive even in the most challenging habitats.
With both the tracheal system and book lungs working correctly, these creatures are uniquely designed to breathe effectively.
They are venomous
Although jumping spiders are harmless to humans, they are venomous and can easily incapacitate their prey. Their lethal venom means that jumping spiders can take on prey that are a lot larger than them.
In addition to their powerful legs, their venom also allows them to finish the job quickly, with minimal margin for error.
Some species eat plants
While most jumping spiders are carnivores, some species like the Bagheera kiplingi feed mainly on plants. So, if you’ve always thought that all jumping spiders are carnivores, we are sure you know better now.
Frequently asked questions
Are jumping spiders friendly?
Although jumping spiders are venomous, they are not harmful to humans. They are also quite friendly to humans; this explains why some people keep them as pets.
And even though they are carnivores by nature, they tend to shy away from humans. This makes the chances of getting bitten by these little leapers slim.
Can jumping spiders survive everywhere?
Jumping spiders are built in such a way that they can thrive in almost any habitat. Even though they don’t do too well in arctic regions because of the extreme cold, they can thrive effectively in chillier areas. That said, they do better in tropical regions.
What do you feed a jumping spider?
Because they are carnivores, jumping spiders can eat a variety of insects, including flies and small crickets. But if you aren’t prepared to collect the food yourself, you can easily purchase some from the closest pet shop around you. Also, keep in mind that your spider doesn’t have to eat every day.
Jumping spiders are no doubt one of the most adorable animals you’ll come across. Their bright colors and unique personalities make them instantly loved by pet lovers. While they are venomous and can instantly incapacitate their prey, these creatures are friendly to humans.