Facts, Identification & Control
Among arthropods, jumping spiders, or salticids, are known for their superior eyesight. Jumping spiders are equipped with eight eyes, four of which are apportioned to the face and four of which are located at the highest point of the carapace. Long and tubelike, the two eyes located at the center of the face have limited perspective and high resolution. In contrast, the other eyes have low acuity and a wider field of view.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
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.
Jumping spiders are particularly abundant in grassland and prairie environments, where they prey upon bollworms, cotton leaf worms, webworms, cotton flea hoppers, stinkbugs, leafhoppers and mosquitoes. Jumping house spiders also enter indoor habitats by being accidently carried in on plants or a person. These arachnids can be found in yards, as well as inside and surrounding barns and houses.
The jumping spider eludes predators in different ways. Some species use camouflage and blend into the surrounding environment. Others remain alert and watchful for predators as well as prey. If a threat is detected they flee or hide.
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.
Signs of Jumping Spider Infestation
Jumping spiders are unlikely to infest indoors. They would likely be observed outdoors in vegetation.
Jumping Spider Bites
Jumping spider bites are not considered particularly harmful to humans, especially since the species tends to flee from humans rather than attack. While jumping spiders do produce venom, this venom is not considered medically threatening.
If at all possible, the biting spider should be captured and brought along to assist the physician in identifying the cause of the person’s symptoms. In many cases, spiders have been crushed following a bite; the remains of the arachnid may still be sufficient for identification.
Jumping spiders are also famous for their agility. Jumping spiders are some of the fastest-moving arthropods in existence and, as their name suggests, are capable of leaping. The circulatory system of these spiders is responsible for their mobility. When blood pressure rises in their limbs, their bodies move by way of released pressure.
One of the most common jumping spiders found in homes in North America is the daring jumping spider (Phidippus audax).
Daring Jumping Spiders (Phidippus audax)
Green Jumping Spiders (Mopsus mormon)
Zebra Jumping Spiders (Salticus scenicus)