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Jumping Spiders (Salticidae)

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

Jumping spiders are comprised of the smartest spiders on the planet with jaw-dropping hunting techniques and sharp eyesight. This family of spiders appears to be aware on a level not seen in other arachnids.

H. trimaculatus. Credit: Colin Hutton
H. trimaculatus. Credit: Colin Hutton


Jumping spiders are easily identified by their signature short-quick movements, raised Sherman tank-like body, and a distinct pair of large forward-facing eyes. Salticidae have the best eyes of all spiders. This helps them track prey. Jumping spiders are world-renown for their hunting abilities. Many species appear to follow their prey and plan their attack. If spiders lose track of their prey, they will seek it out until they find it again. This gives credence that jumping spiders have a form of object permanence. This is the understanding that just because something may be out of view, doesn't mean it is gone. Humans don't develop this skill until about 4 - 7 months of life. Jumpers don't spin webs but they can make silk when needed for traveling, cliff-hanging, or protecting an opening to their burrow. In the video below, a member of the Portia genus shows us how it's done.


Salticidae can be found in a number of environments. Most are found in tropical forests but are also found in woodlands, arid regions, mountainous regions, and even near water.


Some of the most beautiful jumpers are the peacock jumping spiders that put on elaborate displays to capture the attention of the female. This is risky business however as if rejected, the typically larger female will eat the male. This behavior isn't seen in all species, however. Once the female accepts, the male mounts the female and places his left pedipalp into her left opening called the genital structure. He then does the same thing using the same left pedipalp into her right genital opening. The sperm enters the oviduct and fertilizes the eggs. The female lays her eggs into a large egg sac. Which she abandons after they hatch. Watch a peacock jumping spider attempt to impress a potential mate below.

I hope you enjoyed this segment. Check out a spider's reaction to himself in a mirror. He probably doesn't recognize himself, but he does recognize that something weird is going on. :-)

* Update: 07-17-2021: Jumping spiders seem to have a level of cognition only seen in vertebrates:

More about the Portia Genus at the link below:

A Jumping spider that's vegan?

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