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Monday, July 18, 2016

Jumping Spider

Photo Credit: Karthik Easvur
The jumping spider is found throughout the northern hemisphere. It has acute vision and can look 360 degrees around its body without moving its head.

The jumping spider gets its name from the way it leaps toward its prey with great speed, rather than trapping it in a web. Some of the most colorful spiders are contained in this group. It has distinctive white bands across its black abdomen.

The jumping spider is active during the day, mainly in warm, sunny weather. It lives in houses and gardens, but mountain climbers report sightings as high as 23,000 feet above sea level in the Himalayas. This spider finds a safe hiding place and spins itself into a silk cell for the nigh, emerging when temperatures rise the next day. During cold weather, the spider stays in its silk cell until conditions improve.

The carnivorous (meat-eating) jumping spider eats flies, tiny moths, ants, and beetles. Most other spiders wait for prey to become entangled in their webs, but the jumping spider uses its keen eyesight to stalk its prey.

Did you know?
  • Male jumping spiders will perform their mating displays to their own mirror reflections.
  • The jumping spider cleans dirt from its eyes by rubbing them carefully with its palps.
  • The majority of the 4,000 members of the jumping spider family around the world live in the tropics, but a few live in temperate cold climates including the arctic.

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