The redback jumping spider is a very common species of spiders. Its unique color and special features make it conspicuous and easy to identify. Given the red coloration around the dorsal side of its rounded abdomen, it’s easy to see why it is named the redback jumping spider. And just like other jumping spiders, the redback jumping spider enjoys hopping from place to place.
Read on to find more exclusive information about the redback jumping spider.
Scientifically called Philippus Johnsoni, the redback jumping spider is among the most commonly encountered species of jumping spiders you’ll come across in western North America. And just so you know, this jumping spider species isn’t related to the highly venomous redback spider.
Size and description
Given its striking features and unique coloration, the redback jumping spider is easy to identify. To start with, the females have a much larger body than their male counterparts as they measure around 0.4 inches or 10 mm in length.
Plus, their eight, long slender legs are two to three times the length of their body. In terms of color, the female’s body and legs are black or dark brown, while the abdomen features red stripes that appear like broken red dots.
Just on the underside of the abdomen sits a predominant red hourglass shape. Like we have earlier mentioned, the male redback jumping spider is a lot smaller than the females. Compared to the females, the male’s body and legs appear pale brown.
Also, their abdomen sports black and white markings.
Distribution and habitat
The redback jumping spider is quite a common species of spider. Today, this beautiful spider is commonly found throughout Australia, especially in Brisbane, Perth, and Alice Springs. For those wondering why, the reason isn’t farfetched, especially considering the fact that these cities provide a lot of heat and shelter that redback jumping spiders love.
Because of their knack to always stay warm, our spider friends tend to come in contact with humans.
Besides Australia, where the redback jumping spider has established a strong base, our furry friends have also been spotted in New Zealand, South East Asia, England, Belgium, United Arab Emirates as well as other countries.
And before we forget to add, the redback jumping spider is also an established colony in Japan.
When it comes to hunting and fending for themselves in the wild, redback jumping spiders are on top of their game. To start with, this species of jumping spiders are agile hunters who prey on insects.
While our furry friends particularly like smaller insects, they are daring and can take on large animals like small lizards, trapdoor spiders, and even snakes (which happens rarely) that get entangled in their web.
Although adult redback jumping spiders can feed on much larger insects, juveniles tend to take the less risky path and will instead feast on much smaller prey like mealworm larvae, roaches, crickets, fruit flies, mosquitoes, and others.
When bred in captivity, our furry friends are unable to hunt for themselves, especially considering that they are housed in a controlled environment. To this end, you have to make sure they feed regularly. But this shouldn’t be a problem as their food is readily available and can be ordered from pet stores close to you.
You should keep in mind that spiders don’t eat often, so caring for them wouldn’t be such a big deal.
Red jumping spider facts you should know
Just like other jumping spider species, the redback jumping spider is a curious and very intelligent spider. Its friendly nature has made it highly courted by exotic pet lovers who want to keep it as pets.
That said, here are some striking things about the redback jumping spider you should know.
- In 2012, a specimen of the red-backed jumping spider was sent into space by Nasa.
- Redback jumping spiders have a special mating ritual. While performing a dancing ritual, the males tend to produce a unique sound by twitching their abdomen. This tends to attract the females who are most times willing to mate.
Redback jumping spider lifespan
It is a known fact that spiders have a very short lifespan, and with the redback jumping spider, things aren’t any different. In the wild, our furry friends can survive and thrive for almost one year.
But when bred in captivity, they tend to live a little longer and survive for up to three years.
Also, females tend to survive longer than their male counterparts.
Is it dangerous or venomous to humans?
Are you worried that the redback jumping spider can be dangerous? Well, we are happy to inform you that our spider friend isn’t dangerous. While it has venoms that are strong enough to incapacitate prey, the venom isn’t toxic to humans. And even if you ever get bitten by this spider, you’ll only experience mild pain and some local swellings that will fade away after a couple of days.
Frequently asked questions
What do redback jumping spiders eat?
While our furry friends can feast on prey that is almost their own size, they prefer averaged sized insects half their own size. From mosquitoes to roaches to moths to flies and more, our spider friends will feed on a variety of invertebrates. Also, on rare occasions, redback jumping spiders can eat smaller spiders of the same species.
How often should you feed a jumping spider?
Compared to other animals, spiders don’t eat so much, so taking care of them wouldn’t be such a difficult job. For adult spiders, you can feed them their favorite prey once every 2 to 3 days. However, if you are keeping a juvie spider, you can feed it once every 1 to 2 days as it tends to eat more.
Can you keep redback jumping spiders as pets?
Because they are friendly and not dangerous to humans, you can keep our fuzzy friends as pets. But it’s important to handle them gently so you don’t end up getting bitten.