The shiny jumping spider is super easy to identify, and that’s all thanks to its brilliant and shiny ultraviolet light. This group of spiders belongs to the Salticidae family and the genus, Cosmophasis.
Like other jumping spider species, the shiny jumping spider is super friendly, intelligent, and all shades of gorgeous, no surprise why they are highly sought after by exotic pet lovers.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the shiny jumping spider.
The scientific name of the shiny jumping spider
Although commonly referred to as the shiny jumping spider, thanks to its very conspicuous look, this jumping spider species goes by the scientific name of cosmophasis umbratica. When viewed under UV light, the shiny jumping spider exhibits extreme dimorphism.
While the males show UV on all body parts, especially when displayed during intraspecific interaction, juveniles and females don’t reflect any form of UV at all. And from what researchers have learned, the UV capabilities in males are essential for sexual signaling and mating.
The shiny jumping spider is mostly found in tropical regions. Today, they are popular in areas of India and Sumatra. Because of their love for tropical areas, you’ll find them in tree trunks, areas of low vegetation, or extravagant gardens.
In open areas, our spider friends love to stay on flowers and leaves of tropical plants.
Given their unique features, this jumping spider species come alive when exposed to sunlight.
While they are predominantly found in India, they equally thrive very well in south and southeast Asia.
Because of their love for sunlight, it’s easy to see why shinny jumping spiders are mostly spotted in regions with high sunlight exposure. Also, they are mostly spotted during late mornings or early afternoons.
According to recent reports, the shiny jumping spider is increasingly growing in Singapore and provides an aesthetic glow not seen with other spider species.
While there is very little information on this spider’s origin, it is believed that there is a close correlation between the presence of the Ixora plant and the cosmophasis umbratical.
Physical description and size of the shiny jumping spider
Like we mentioned earlier, the shiny jumping spider boasts unique features that give it away easily. To start with, the female shiny jumping spider sports a green cephalothorax as well as a mixture of brown, black, and white around its abdomen.
Unlike their male counterparts, the females are missing the famous iridescent coloration on their body. On the flip side, the males have dominant green and black colors, followed by silver-like iridescent coloring on their abdomens.
In terms of size, the male shiny jumping spider appears bigger and brighter than its female counterpart. To give you some perspective, the adult males measure around 5-7 mm in length. Also, their brightly colored long, slender legs help them leap from place to place.
The adult female shiny jumping spider measures around 4-5mm in length to the adult females. Plus, their legs are much shorter when compared to their male counterparts.
Let us also add that both the male and female shiny jumping spiders showcase sexual dimorphism in both color and size.
Despite its unique UV reflection, the shiny jumping spider depends heavily on its impressive vision and superb jumping skills to hunt down prey. This jumping spider species can spot prey from about 20-30 feet away, thanks to their brilliant eyesight.
In the wild, this spider is capable of hunting and fending for itself. While it favors smaller insects like crickets, flies, roaches, mosquitoes, and mealworms, it can take on insects that are twice its size.
Besides insects, shiny jumping spiders are known to be nectivorous. This explains why they love the sweet nectar from the Ixora plant.
And just so you know, our spider friends don’t overeat, so if you plan on breeding them in captivity, you can feed them once every 2-3 days.
What is the lifespan of shiny jumping spiders?
Like other species of spiders, the shiny jumping spider has a very short life span. In the wild, these species of spiders can survive for nearly 1-2 years. But when bred in captivity, they can live for up to 2-3 years. Plus, females are known to live longer than their male counterparts.
Is it dangerous and venomous to humans?
The shiny jumping spider is known to be generally friendly and harmless to humans. And even though they have venoms that are potent enough to incapacitate their prey, their venom doesn’t cause any harm to humans.
And although they bite when they feel threatened or handled roughly, our spider friends are considered non-violent.
If you ever get bitten by our furry friends, you may only notice irritations that fade away after a couple of days.
Adult male shiny spiders reflect UV light to attract females when they are ready to mate. The level of glow helps create varying levels of interest among females. While some male shiny jumping spiders have their UV reflections masked, the females are believed to be more attracted to the glowing males.
Frequently asked questions
Are shiny jumping spiders friendly?
According to researchers, shiny jumping spiders are the kindest spiders you’ll ever come across. While this species of spiders have venoms potent enough to stun their prey, their venoms aren’t harmful to humans. And because they rarely bite except when they feel threatened, they are easy to care for and managed.
How often should you feed jumping spiders?
Our furry friends don’t overeat; to this end, you can feed them their favorite prey once every 2-3 days. If you have a juvie spider, you can feed it once every two days. Plus, sourcing their food isn’t such a big deal as they are readily available in pet stores.
Do jumping spiders make webs?
While jumping spiders do not use webs for hunting, they sometimes spin silks that acts as an anchor for safe landing when they miss out on their prey. Also, they spin webs to make silken shelters under tree barks.