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6 Facts About Jumping Spiders That Will Amaze You

Jumping spiders might get a bad reputation, but these facts prove they’re surprisingly captivating and critical to ecosystems.

Written by
Jenna Mignano
Published

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.

6 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 a whopping 4,000 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. Keeping 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. 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. What a 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. Anywhere Will Do

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. 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.

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!