The world of jumping spiders is littered with lots of brilliant species we just can’t get enough of. And one that has grabbed our attention lately is the Marpissa jumping spider. This incredible leaper is a joy to behold, and that’s all thanks to its unique behaviors and exciting details.
Females of this jumping spider species reach about 8 to 13 mm in length, while the males measure between 6 to 8 mm. Although not very brightly colored like the Elegant Golden jumping spider, the Marpissa jumping spider sports a grey to brown color that makes it easy to identify.
Read on to find other exciting details about our leaper friends.
What is their scientific name?
While this jumping spider species is popularly called the Fence Post jumping spider, it is scientifically referred to as the Marpissa muscosa. Like other jumping spiders, the Marpissa muscosa likes to build its special nest under dead trees’ bark. While they don’t use their webs to hunts, our furry friends use their brilliant vision and excellent jumping skills to hunt down prey.
Where is the Marpissa jumping spider from?
The Marpissa jumping spider is a very common jumping spider species that have been sighted in Minnesota, Ontario, Michigan, and Quebec. Also, there have been reported sightings of this spider in Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina.
While they are believed to be in Wisconsin, the majority of the genus are found around the Great Lake endemics. Outside of the US and Canada, the Marpissa jumping spider has been spotted in the UK and Northern Europe.
Physical description and size
Like other jumping spider species, the Marpissa jumping spider has four sets of legs. That said, the first set is a little shorter than the rest. Also, they sport three sets of spines, which are located just beneath their tibia. Plus, their abdomen is marked with unique angular centra band.
While they have a short body, their large set of eyes means they can hunt down prey with utmost precision. The females look a little different from the males because they appear dark brown and sport a narrow black band. Occasionally, you may notice some white scales on the females.
We love the fact that their first pair of legs are brown while the others are yellow. This makes them easy to identify. On the other hand, the males sport a darker shade of brown. This is accentuated by a narrow black band and patches of white scales. More so, their eyes are surrounded by patches of hair.
In terms of size, the females are a little bigger than their male counterparts. While the females measure between 8 to 13 mm in length, the males are only 6 to 8 mm in size.
Although members of this genus have been sighted in marshes and on cattails, the majority of them have been spotted near freshwater bodies. Also, they thrive very well in both temperate and tropical regions.
When it comes to hunting, the Marpissa jumping spider is miles ahead of other spiders. Their quick, jerky movements mean that our fuzzy friends can hunt down prey with utmost precision. While they do not spin webs when hunting, they like to build small tent-like structures from where they sit and observe their prey.
Marpissa likes to hunt during the daytime, and that’s because their eyesight is strongest during this time.
What do they feed on?
The Marpissa jumping spider is an intelligent hunter and will patiently sit and wait for its prey to pass. While they will generally take an interest in anything that approaches them, they prefer small insects like flies, roaches, moths, web-building spiders, and other jumping spiders that are smaller than them.
And when they can’t hunt, they tend to steal prey from web-building spiders.
However, if you plan to keep our spider friends in captivity, you’ll have to provide feeder insects for them. Thankfully, doing this shouldn’t be a problem especially considering that these insects are available in pet stores close to you.
What is their temperament?
Just like other leapers out there, the Marpissa jumping spider is generally friendly in nature. And even though they are intelligent hunters with potent venom that can incapacitate their prey, they are super gentle and friendly to humans.
But regardless of the fact that they are friendly, they aren’t afraid to bite if they are handled roughly or feel threatened. To this end, you must ensure you handle them with care or risk getting bitten.
Is it dangerous or venomous to humans?
A lot of people don’t seem to like spiders because of their bad reputations, but guess what, with the Marpissa jumping spider, you’ll start seeing spiders differently. And just so you know, the Marpissa jumping spider is one of the most friendly jumping spiders we have come across.
While their venom is strong enough to incapacitate their prey, it isn’t harmful to humans. Plus, even if you get bitten by this jumping spider, you’ll only experience mild irritations and redness that fizzles away after a couple of days.
Frequently asked questions
How long does the Marpissa jumping spider live for?
Although the Marpissa jumping spider’s lifespan isn’t known, it is believed that most jumping spiders can live for up to 6 months to one year. Again, the females live longer than their male counterparts.
How often should you feed Marpissa jumping spiders?
Generally, Marpissa jumping spiders do not eat much, so it’s okay to feed them once every two to three days. However, if you’re keeping a juvenile of this species, you can feed it every one to two days.
Can you keep Marpissa jumping spiders as pets?
Because this jumping spider species is friendly and not harmful to humans, it’s okay to keep them as pets. But while doing so, make sure that you feed them properly.
Besides all of the exciting things to like about the Marpissa jumping spider, we love the fact that this jumping spider species is friendly and doesn’t hurt humans. And because they are intelligent hunters with great vision, they can fend for themselves in the wild.