9 Facts About Jumping Spiders That Will Amaze You
Jumping spiders might have a bad reputation, but these facts prove they’re surprisingly captivating and critical to ecosystems.
Calling all nature lovers: You're going to want to hear all about these adorable house spiders. Jumping spiders aren't like other spiders. They're similar to black widows, but they have a lot more neat quirks you'll be surprised to learn—including how far they can jump!
Even if you're not a fan of spiders and insects, hear us out: These fascinating facts about jumping spiders might change your mind. (Aka you'll no longer want to squish them when you spot them! Instead, you just might admire them.)
Let’s discover why jumping spiders hold a special place in their habitat and why they're important to many ecosystems.
9 Fun Facts about Jumping Spiders
1. There's a Lot of Them
Known to science as members of the family Salticidae, jumping spiders are nothing to scoff at. There are over 6,000 species of jumping spiders, with more than 300 being native to the U.S. and Canada.
Together, jumping spider species account for roughly 13% of all spider diversity. Luckily, none of them are classified as endangered.
2. They Keep the Peace
You might want to think twice before getting rid of these guys because jumping spiders keep insect populations under control in their ecosystems. Globally, spiders can eat 400-800 million tons of insects and invertebrates each year!
As many of us know, an imbalance or reduction in species can have catastrophic consequences—like a domino effect. The loss of one species can impact other species because the food web is interconnected.
This may not be the best news for jumping spiders since many insect populations are declining as a result of climate change and agriculture. Be sure to protect insect populations—you'll be protecting jumping spiders, too.
3. They Have Spidey Super Senses
To no surprise, these guys are adept hunters. Jumping spiders have impeccable hearing and eyesight to help them out.
Their distinctive four eyes focus on their prey, using image defocus to foster a sharp depth perception. Their top two photoreceptor layers are ultraviolet sensitive, and the bottom two are sensitive to green light. This makes jumping spiders keenly acclimated to hunt in their habitats—which happens to be all over the world.
And believe it or not, these spiders don't utilize a web. Instead, they hunt using their sharp sighting skills.
4. They Have an Impressive Jump
This is a spider that has truly earned its name, with various jumping spider species having incredible jump spans. According to a study published in Scientific Reports, some jumping spiders can jump over 6 inches
Some species, like the Phidippus audax—aka the bold jumping spider—can jump up to 50 times its body length. It’s almost unimaginable to think about how far these spiders can jump without seeing it firsthand—but take a look at the video below and you can witness the magic for yourself.
5. They Can Easily Adapt
Jumping spiders can be found in a vast array of climates around the world. That includes the dry desert, the tropical forest, or even on the slopes of Mount Everest!
High or low, hot or cold, and humid or dry, the jumping spider is determined to find a way to adapt and make almost any ecosystem its home.
6. They Have a Vibrant Display of Affection
Jumping spiders come in several colors and patterns. Although they tend to have brown, gray, and black tones, some spiders are a shocking vibrant red and blue. And there’s a reason for the extravagant coloring: It’s to find a mate!
The Maratus and Habronattus species are known best for their vivid colors and elaborate mating displays where they lift two legs in the air and dance away.
And another cool fact: These spiders can see more vibrant colors than humans can. According to a 2015 study, Habronattus jumping spiders may have greater color vision through the "shifting of sensitivity of a subset of their photoreceptors from green to red."
Basically, these spiders have a built-in filter in their retina that exposes them to a broad spectrum of colors and UV rays.
7. They're Pro Egg Layers
Female jumping spiders don't mess around when it comes to producing offspring. After mating with a male, they can lay a clutch of more than 125 eggs.
These spiderlings—cutest name ever, right?—stay in their nest for around a month after hatching. Then they venture off on their own to discover the big world around them.
8. They're Super Smart
The next time you feel like squashing a spider, don't. Despite their teeny tiny brains, jumping spiders are super smart. In fact, past research has found they have a sense of numbers thought to be equivalent to that of a one-year-old child.
9. They Love People-Watching
You and jumping spiders might have something in common. Unlike other types of spiders that run away from humans, research published in the journal Royal Society Biology Letters found jumping spiders often fixate on people and love watching them.
"Whereas many spiders, like black widows or the brown recluse, tend to avoid people, jumping spiders often seem quite fearless," says researcher Elizabeth Jakob, PhD. "If a spider turns to look at you, it is almost certainly a jumping spider."
How to Show Jumping Spiders You Care
Have these facts spurred a change of heart toward jumping spiders? Next time you spot one crawling by, you might appreciate the imperative role they play in the natural world we know and love!
Their diversity, climate adaptability, and hunting skills are unmatched. They're social, inquisitive little animals. And because they are not poisonous, they rarely bite humans—meaning, they're not really a threat to you. They only bite humans when faced with severe danger, so it’s important to remember to leave them be.
Plus, these arachnids can be downright adorable. (So much so that it's not uncommon for people to keep them as pets.) They typically don't seek shelter inside homes, but if you spot a jumping spider that's somewhere it's not supposed to be, be sure to carefully bring it to safety. A cup and a piece of paper can save the day!
A New Study Says Algae Is a New Sustainable Energy Source
A new study found algae is the latest sustainable energy source you should know about—and it's already powering computers.
How to Store Lemons and Limes So They Stay Fresh for Over a Month
Tired of watching your citrus go to waste? Here's how to store lemons and limes so they stay fresh for over a month.
We Tried It: 7 Sustainable Swimsuits the Brightly Team Loves
Looking for sustainable swimwear? Here are seven picks the Brightly team tested and reviewed, from cute one-pieces to bikinis.