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 FLORIDA SPIDERS
A source for information on spiders

Jumping Spider  Family Salticidae

 

Jumping spiders belong to the Family Salticidae. With over 4,000 species known throughout the globe, tropical regions are most influenced. However, some species thrive in the frigid Himalayas. Over 300 species exist within North America.  Jumping spiders tend to exhibit dull coloration, although the bodies of some males may glisten.

Jumping spiders are known for their swift reflexes and leaping abilities. These spiders are capable of leaping as high as 25 times their own size and as such, are extremely capable predators. Jumping spiders also possess impressive eyesight.

Although jumping spiders are not web-weaving arachnids, they do produce silk. Their silk is used to mark retreats and to protect eggs. Silk may also function as a dragline while jumping, allowing jumping spiders to control their fall and trace their steps.

Appearance:
Jumping spider females are generally larger than males. Jumping spiders are among the most ornate of spiders; many species are brightly colored and strikingly patterned, with stout bodies, short legs, and four pairs of eyes (two of which arte front and center, like headlights) that can identify prey, predators and mates from up to a foot away.

Size:
Less than 1/8-inch in length.

Behavior:
“Jumping Spider” is the common name for any of a group of hunting spiders that can leap 10 to 40 times their body length. With over 4000 described species, they comprise the largest family of spiders.

The male's front pair of legs are colored with distinctive bands of hair. In many species the male performs complex courtship displays in which he bobs his body and waves his front legs in a highly specific manner. After mating, the female lays her eggs in a silk-lined shelter under stones or bark, or on the surface of plants. The female will often guard the eggs and newly hatched young.

The jumping spider is an active predator, usually hunting during daylight. It will stalk to within a few body lengths of the prey, crouch, crawl slowly forward, and then lift its front legs and pounce. Before pouncing on the victim, jumping spiders attach a line of silk from which they can dangle if they fall. It accomplishes its spectacular jumps by means of muscular contractions in the body that force body fluids into the legs, causing the legs to extend rapidly. Most jumping spiders feed on insects, while others feed primarily on web-building spiders.

Habitat:
Jumping spiders live in a variety of habitats. Tropical forests harbor the most species, but they are also found in temperate forestss, scrub lands, deserts, and even mountains. More than 300 species have been described in the United States. They usually live outside near plant foliage, fences, walls, decks, and patios. Unlike almost all other spiders, they can also climb on glass.

Bite Signs and Symptoms:
The jumping spider is probably the most common biting spider in the United States. People are caught by surprise and scared when they see the spider jump, especially if it jumps towards them. Bites from a jumping spider can sometimes be painful, itchy and cause redness and minor swelling.

Control:
Since jumping spiders cause no immediate threat they are not considered house pests. Jumping spiders are not dangerous. If you find a single spider indoors, you can easily capture and release it. Place a cup over the spider and then slide a piece of paper underneath to trap it within the cup. Turn the cup over while holding the paper tightly over the top. Take the spider outdoors to release it.

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