Pseudeuophrys is a species of jumping spider that belongs to the family Salticidae. Even though Friedric Dahl first described this jumping spider in 1912, it got its name from the Ancient Greek word “Psuedo,” which means false, and the Salticid genus Euophrys.
Although it was briefly synonymized with Euophrys, the decision was later rescinded.
Like other jumping spiders we have come across, the Pseudeuophrys jumping spider, or what many call the fleecy jumping spider, has many exciting characteristics you want to learn about. If you are as intrigued about jumping spiders as we are, you’re welcome to learn more about our spider friend.
What is their scientific name?
The Pseudeuophrys jumping spider is generally called the fleecy jumping spider. And just like other jumping spiders, this one is scientifically called the Pseudeuophrys lanigera.
Its scientific name is coined from lanigera, which means wool-bearing, and Psued, which means good or eyebrows. It is essential to know that Pseudeuophrys was split from Euophrys, a prevalent genus of spiders, and that’s because they share very similar characteristics. Besides their scientific name, Pseudeuophrys jumping spiders have many exciting features you’ll learn about shortly.
Where do they come from?
Because our spider friends have become distributed species, you’ll find them in most environments. To give you some background, the Pseudeuophrys jumping spider is widely spread across western and southern Europe, especially eastward to the Caucasus.
In European countries like Germany, this jumping spider species are commonly sighted in homes and external walls of buildings. This shows that our leaper friends are synanthropic. While this species was first sighted in Romania in 2007, Poland reported its first sighting of the Pseudeuophrys jumping spider in 1999.
Originally, fleecy jumping spiders were distributed in Southwest Europe, especially in Germany, where they are commonly found near human settlement.
Physical description and size
The Fleecy jumping spider has so much going for it in terms of physical description and size.
When it comes to size, the Pseudeuophrys jumping spider is a medium-sized spider. While males of this species have a body length of 3 to 4 mm, females are slightly bigger and measure between 5 and 7 mm.
The Pseudeuophrys jumping spider is quite similar to the Pseudeuophrys erratica, which is rarer and only spotted on the bark of trees on forest fringes. Pseudeuophrys jumping spider has well-developed eyesight and long legs, which comes in handy when hunting for prey.
While our leaper friends are mostly spotted inside buildings, adults can be spotted even in deep winter. That said, the Pseudeuophrys jumping spider prefers the dry climate of modern concrete architecture.
Habitat and ecology
Our fuzzy friends were first recorded in Devon in 1930. And since then, they have spread rapidly northwards. And because Pseudeuophrys is closely associated with humans, they are one of the few jumping spiders that you’ll find crouching on roofs and walls.
While they may be sighted outside of human settlements like woodlands, these records are very rare. Unlike other spiders, the Pseudeuophrys have been observed to use drop and swing behavior to navigate. This unique behavior is used by other species to become airborne. Their drop and swing behavior have been credited for their successful movement from Devon northwards to Scotland.
Thanks to the warm microclimate available in houses, females of this species are able to produce young all year round. While adult females can be found in all months, their male counterparts can barely survive the winter.
What do they eat?
Pseudeuophrys is a brilliant jumping spider with extraordinary vision and impeccable jumping skills. In the wild, this jumper uses its great eyesight to stalk prey, patiently wait for it, and pounce on it using its powerful jump.
While they have been observed to feast on small and large insects like flies, crickets, worms, mosquitoes, and more, the Pseudeuophrys has displayed a particular fondness for booklice. Like other jumping spiders, Fleecy jumpings spiders are daring and will take on prey twice their size.
Unfortunately, when they are bred in captivity, their hunting skills are limited. To this end, you have to provide feeder insects so they don’t starve to death.
What is their temperament?
One unique thing that all jumping spiders have in common is their friendly nature. While our spider friends will viciously attack their prey, they shy away from humans and will most likely try to run whenever they come in contact with humans.
And except they are handled roughly, they generally do not pose a threat to humans. Because of their friendly nature and the fact that their venoms are not harmful to humans, many exotic pet lovers enjoy keeping them as pets.
Is it dangerous or venomous to humans?
There is no doubt that spiders have earned a bad reputation for themselves, but guess what? Jumping spiders such as the Pseudeuophrys are changing the narrative, and that’s because this jumping spider species is not harmful to humans.
Sure, they have venoms that are potent enough to incapacitate their prey, but their venom isn’t harmful to humans. And even if you end up getting bitten by this jumping spider, you’ll only experience mild pain and slight irritations that disappear after a couple of days.
Frequently asked questions: Learn more about the Pseudeuophrys.
How long can they survive?
It’s an open secret that jumping spiders have a very short lifespan. While females of this species can survive for up to two years, males only survive between six months and one year. Plus, the males may likely not survive winter.
What should you feed jumping spiders?
If you plan to raise them in captivity, then you should be prepared to provide feeder insects like roaches, flies, mosquitoes, crickets, and more. You can either catch feeder insects around your home or order some from pet stores online or close to you.
Are jumping spiders aggressive?
Although our leaper friends are vicious against prey, they are calm and collected around humans. Moreover, when they come in contact with humans, their first instinct is to get away.