Jumping Spider Facts
Jumping spiders have many assets and abilities that allow them to be successful hunters. These spiders have excellent vision and the ability to jump as far as 20 times their body length. To put it in perspective, that would be like a six-foot-tall man jumping 120 feet, the length of three school buses! (The Olympic long jump record is just over 29 feet.)
In addition to their ability to leap, jumping spiders have excellent eyesight, the ability to move quickly backward or sideways, and are very agile.
Where are they found?
These spiders are predominantly found outdoors and prefer sunshine, but sometimes make their way indoors as well.
Jumping spiders are also quite agile and can move backward and sideways very quickly. They hunt for their prey and can be found doing so in many different places. Outdoors, they can be seen among rocks or leaves, running across branches or tree bark, and on bushes or fences. They are more often seen on the ground than in higher areas. Indoors, they are mostly found hunting in places where they will find prey, such as near doors and windows.
These spiders will sometimes wait for prey to pass by and will pounce upon it. Other times, they will pursue their prey and then leap on it. They usually jump a matter of inches, but can go much farther if they feel threatened.
Jumping spiders create webs as a place to retreat, hibernate, molt, or lay eggs. Often times, they construct a separate retreat for each of these functions. They construct these webs in cracks and crevices, under furniture, under loose bark or leaves, and other hidden areas.
The female will suspend an egg sac in the web and usually just creates one at a time. The sac can contain as many as 160 eggs. The eggs are generally laid in late spring or early summer and the spiderlings remain in the web through winter.
What do they look like?
Adult jumping spiders are hairy and are usually black, sometimes brownish or gray with lighter colored markings on their abdomens.
Jumping spiders are usually stocky and seem more compact than other types of spiders. They are stout and hairy with legs that are short in comparison to their bodies. They have eight eyes arranged in three rows. The front row has four eyes, with the middle two being quite large.
Types of Jumping Spiders
There are many varieties of jumping spider found throughout the world, as many as 4,000 – 5,000. In North America, there are approximately 300 species.
There are a few types that are found more often than others. One of these is the daring jumping spider. It is also called the bold jumping spider or the bold jumper. The daring jumping spider is fairly small in size, usually about one-half inch in body length. These spiders pursue their prey and then pounce upon it.
Many of these spiders are black with red or white markings on their abdomens. Some have metallic green chelicerae.
Another type of jumping spider that is encountered frequently is the zebra jumping spider. Like a zebra, it bears black and white stripes on its abdomen.