Jumping Spiders (Salticidae) are the personalities of the spider world. Though generally small in size (up to 12 mm body length), their large eyes, prodigious jumping ability, often brilliant colours and cocky, inquisitive activity make them very appealing. Many are daylight hunters, using their excellent vision to track, stalk and calculate distance, before suddenly leaping on their prey, propelled by their strong back legs. Males are often more strikingly coloured, patterned or adorned with leg or body hair tufts than are females. They use these adornments to impress the females during often elaborate courtship displays. Information – Australian Museum
All photos are copyright to their owners and may not be reproduced without permission. You can click on the jumping spider images in the galleries below to enlarge them.
Unclassified Jumping Spiders
Peacock Spiders (Maratus Volans)
I only have one photo of a Peacock spider. Here’s some information about them. The photo is the first in the Unclassified section below. Maratus Volans, sometimes called the peacock spider or gliding spider, is a species of jumping spider. Octavius Pickard-Cambridge, who is credited with the first formal biological description and hence is noted as the person assigning it its binomial name (he originally named it Salticus volans; its name was changed to Maratus volans by Marek Zabka in 1991), wrote in his first description of it that “it is difficult to describe adequately the great beauty of the colouring of this spider”.
The red, blue and black coloured males have flap-like extensions of the abdomen with white hairs that can be folded down. They are used for display during mating: the male raises his abdomen, then expands and raises the flaps so that the abdomen forms a white-fringed, circular field of color. The species, and indeed the whole genus Maratus have been compared to peacocks in this respect. The third pair of legs is also raised for display, showing a brush of black hairs and white tips. While approaching the female, the male will vibrate his abdomen while waving raised legs and tail, and dance from side to side. Both sexes reach about 4- 5 mm in body length. Females and immatures of both sexes are brown but have colour patterns by which they can be distinguished from related species This species of spider poses no threat to humans. M. volans is confined to specific parts of Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania). Photo below of a female (left) and male. All Maratus volans images copyright Jürgen Otto. For more images of Peacock spiders by Michael Doe, click here.
Phidippus Johnsoni – red-backed jumping spider
The red-backed jumping spider (Phidippus johnsoni) is one of the largest and most commonly encountered jumping spiders of western North America. It is not to be confused with the unrelated and highly venomous redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti). When threatened, the redbacked jumping spider can inflict a painful bite that may last several days, in self-defense, but with no serious medical consequences. Adults tend to be about a centimetre in length. Both sexes have a bright red abdomen; the female has in addition a black central stripe. The chelicerae of both sexes are of a shining teal colour. The rest of the body is mostly black. It is one of the species of jumping spiders which are mimics of mutillid wasps in the genus Dasymutilla (commonly known as “velvet ants”); several species of these wasps are similar in size and coloration, and possess a very painful sting. The distribution of P. johnsoni is bounded by the Great Plains, the Pacific Ocean, northern Mexico , southern Canada and Adriatic coastline of Croatia. It occurs from sea level to tree line, occupying relatively dry habitats such as coastal dunes or oak woodlands. This species constructs conspicuous tubular silken nests under rocks and wood on the ground and sometimes grape vines. They remain inside these at night and during bad weather. Moulting, egg laying and sometimes courtship and mating occur inside these nests. Most of the time they feed on prey about half their own size, but a range from 2 millimetres (0.079 in) to about 1 centimetre (0.39 in) has been observed. Although found to feed on a wide variety of insects (e.g., flies, bugs and moth caterpillars and adults), they also prey heavily on spiders. Cannibalism does occur from time to time, in the form of females feeding on males.
Green Jumping Spider, (Mopsus Mormon)
Mopsus mormon is an Australian spider species of the Salticidae family. It is the sole species in the genus Mopsus. It is found in New Guinea and eastern Australia. It is commonly called the green jumping spider. At 12 mm (female), the Northern Green Jumping spider is one of Australia’s larger jumping spiders, and very common in Queensland. It also occurs in New Guinea, northern New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The males are strikingly coloured and decorated with long white “side whiskers”, which rise to a peak surmounted by a topknot of black hairs. Females don’t have the whiskers and topknot, but instead feature a red and white elegant “mask”.
Typical jumping spiders in the genus Platycryptus are gray with black markings. The genus Platycryptus was erected by David E. Hill in 1979 and is a combination of Greek words for “broad, flat” and “hidden.” The combined term refers to how cryptic the spiders are, and how their body shape allows them to hide in crevices (Hill 1979). The specific epithet, undatus, is Latin for “wavy” and was chosen by Charles De Geer in 1778 to describe the scalloped and wavy pattern on the abdomen of this spider. Platycryptus undatus is a common jumping spider which ranges from the Eastern States and adjacent Canada, to Texas and Wisconsin. Females of this species are between 10 and 13 mm in body length, and males range from 8.5 to 9.5 mm. Like some other species of jumping spider, this species appears to exhibit curiosity towards humans who come into its visual field (jumping spiders all have very good vision.)
It favours vertical surfaces such as fences, walls, etc. and because of its habits it is easily seen. It does not frantically flee humans and may be gently “herded” onto a hand, where it may make a thorough exploration and even jump from finger to finger. These spiders are not at all inclined to bite, but even though they are rather small they can deliver a defensive bite if they are pinched or squeezed. Eggs are laid and hatch during the summer, and adults and other stages stay over winter in their individual silken shelters. Although the shelters are built separately and keep the spiders out of direct contact with each other, as many as fifty of them may crowd their shelters for hibernation together so tightly that they form a continuous blanket under the loose bark of a standing tree.
The bodies of these spiders are rather compressed in the vertical direction, which allows them to hide themselves under the loosened bark of trees and in other tight places. They have a prominent pattern on their abdomens which may make them more difficult to distinguish on mottled surfaces. They are tan in colour.
Paraphidippus aurantius is a species of jumping spider. P. aurantius is a solitary hunter, with a fairly large size for a jumping spider. As I have only had a few images of this spider I have “borrowed” some from around the web. All copyright is acknowledged.