Jumping spiders have done the rounds on the internet and captured people’s hearts. Who knew a spider would be so popular?
These tiny eight legged creatures have disproportionately large eyes that they use to stalk their prey. They are able to jump incredible heights to pounce and catch their prey unawares. The peacock spider became a web sensation after videos emerged online of males performing their mating dance.
These are 10 of our favourite jumping spiders:
Green jumping spider
The green jumping spider is one of Australia’s largest jumping spiders. The males have whiskers, which they raise up to a topknot. Females don’t have this but instead, have a fancy red and white mask on their faces.
Yellow-lined epeus spider
Singapore and Indonesia
These guys are easily recognised by their unique eye arrangement. They have pairs of eyes at the front, middle, and towards the back of their head giving them almost 360 degree vision. The eyes at the front act like telephoto lens and the lateral eyes like wide-angle lenses.
Pantropical jumping spider (picture is a female)
Tropics of Asia and Africa
They have also been introduced to the U.S and now thrive in Florida and some have been found in Texas. The pantropical jumping spider is rather cunning and instead of hunting like other jumping spiders, they take advantage of the increased insects found at artificial light sources. For this reason they are often found in urban areas.
Garden jumping spider
Found in Australia
Spends their days in the sun jumping from leaf to leaf to find a tasty meal.
Bleeker’s jumping spider
Australia, Sri Lanka
These ones are very common and quite easy to identify because of their distinct zebra-like markings. They like living near the sea on shrubs and plants, or even on the plants lining sand dunes in coastal areas. The Bleeker’s jumping spider is notable for its large double pointed tooth in the mouth, which is surrounded by lots of little teeth.
Small striped jumping spider
This one is also quite distinctive with a golden yellow body and legs, a tan carapace, with two small black racing stripes from jumping speed, and a black marking on the top of the head almost like a hat.
Darling jumping spider, or bold jumping spider
The darling jumping spider has the most colourful jaws of all. Their mouthpieces are an iridescent green, immediately making them look less threatening. They have been recorded to jump incredible lengths (up to 50 times their own body length!) and they do this by increasing the blood pressure in their back legs. Like other jumping spiders, they do not build webs to catch food as they are efficient enough at hunting already, but they do create webs as a safety rope when jumping away from predators, just like spiderman.
Peacock jumping spider
Possibly the most famous of the jumping spiders. They have colourful flaps on their abdomens lined with white hairs, which they are able to lift up and shake from side to side while they dance. In addition to shaking their colourful behinds, they lift their third pair of legs and clap them together, just to really make sure the females are paying attention.
Although sometimes it can get a bit much for the female jumping spider, all this peacocking behaviour, and if she just isn’t interested or she is already carrying eggs – she may try to kill him.
Peacock jumping spider (again)
This is another species of peacock jumping spider, however this male has the flap down, so you can see how it looks when it’s not engaging in attention –seeking behaviour.
Ant mimicking jumping spider
This insanely clever jumping spider goes when other jumping spiders fear to tread. By using a genius tactic known as ant mimicry – or myrmecomorphy – it enables to spider in infiltrate areas swarming with ants. Many spiders avoid ants because of the aggressive behaviours – but not this one. By waving its front legs around its head, it looks just like antennae.
More eight legged fun: