Zebra Jumping Spiders

Scientific Name

Salticus scenicus


Spiders, unlike insects have two body sections – a cephalothorax and an abdomen. The cephalothorax, or united head and thorax, on the zebra jumping spider has a white lateral band of hairs with additional white hairs and lustrous scales that appear near the region of their eyes. The abdomen has white or light-colored hairs arranged in opposing stripes with a solid band of white around the front part of the abdomen. Females are often lighter in color than the males. Males have very large, dark fangs that project forward, unlike most other spider species whose fangs extend down. Females and males are similar in size, ranging from about 1/8 to ¼ inch long. As with other species of jumping spiders, they have eight eyes with the center two eyes appearing very large and prominent, thus providing the jumping spider group with possibly the best vision of any other group of arthropods.

Behavior, Diet & Habit

Zebra jumping spiders are hunting spiders that do not spin a web to catch prey. Instead, they use their web to protect the egg sacs at their nighttime hiding sites. This species is usually found around urban and suburban areas where it is often seen hunting on the walls of buildings, fences, rock walls, under stones, in high grass, on bushes and fences, and both inside and on the exterior of buildings. Zebra jumping spiders are especially frequent on the building’s south-facing side where the sun warms those surfaces. These spiders commonly inhabit gardens and may accidentally be brought indoors where they like to live on doorways, walls and windows.

Their prey is any insect or other spider that the Zebra jumping spider can overpower. They have an interesting behavior of capturing prey by using a strand of silk like a bungee cord that is attached to the surface on which they are hunting – the side of a house, for example. The spider attaches the “bungee cord” to the vertical wall, then leaps onto its prey and traps it so its meal cannot escape.


These spiders usually mate during the late spring or early summer, and in a few weeks, the female spiders lay egg sacs in the protective web. Egg sacs contain from 15-25 eggs. After about 3-4 weeks, the eggs hatch and the young spiders emerge from the egg sac and leave to begin life on their own.

Signs Of An Infestation

A zebra jumping spider sighting is usually the first indication of an infestation, although the number of adult spiders seen will likely be few in number.


Zebra jumping spiders were previously brought to the United States from Europe and Asia and now its normal range is southern Canada and the entire United States, though it doesn’t appear to be common in the Rocky Mountain states.

More Information

Prevention of jumping spiders begins with making sure its food sources are kept to a minimum. Holes, cracks and gaps in the home’s doors, windows and foundation need to be properly sealed to prevent entrance into the home’s living space, and removing ground litter that serves as harborage for spiders is also helpful. Should the homeowner need help to control of these or any other spiders, contact your pest management professional to request an inspection. Based on what your pest management professional finds, he or she can prepare a comprehensive pest management plan that will effectively and efficiently deal with the specific pest problem.

These spiders are not aggressive biters and will not bite unless handled or otherwise threatened. Even if bitten, the symptoms are normally very mild and dissipate within 1-2 days.