Did you know jumping spiders happen to be the largest family of spiders known? Their scientific name is Salticidae, and they consist of over 5,000 species. Since they are the largest family of spiders, jumping spiders can come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. The habitat of jumping spiders ranges all across the world. They can be found in forests, deserts, and mountainous regions. Tropical forests are where they are mostly accounted for.
If you would like to learn more about this fascinating spider, you’re in luck! We’ve got the rundown on the jumping spider lifespan and other cool facts!
The Rundown On Jumping Spiders
Considering how many species of jumping spiders there are, it would be impossible to go over them all. That’s why we will go over every feature most jumping spider species share.
Rightfully named, jumping spiders are incredible acrobats. They can leap 50 times their body length. They do this by forcing blood to their legs, which in turn allows their legs to extend incredibly fast. Also, they can then slingshot in whatever direction they are heading with the extension of their legs.
Interestingly enough, jumping spiders do not use their webs as a way to hunt or catch food like other spiders. Since they have incredible legs, which they use to leap, they use their jump to ambush prey instead. Jumping spiders prey on most insects, such as crickets, flies, and mosquitos. The only times you’ll see these spiders use their webs are for safety or when providing themselves with some sort of shelter.
One thing all jumping spiders have in common is their incredible eyesight. Jumping spiders have the sharpest vision of all other spiders, and it is crucial in how they leap and catch prey. They have four pairs of eyes. The center eyes of a jumping spider are the principal ones and are used to help pick up on detail and colors. These principal eyes are unique in that they have muscles directly attached to the retinas, which allow them to move their retinas up and down and side to side without moving their heads. The secondary eyes are used for peripheral vision.
How Long Do Jumping Spiders Live?
The average jumping spider lifespan is between six months to two years. In captivity, jumping spiders may live up to three years. However, species and sex also play an important role in the lifespan of jumping spiders. Female jumping spiders tend to live longer than males.
A female bold jumping spider (Phidippus audax) lived for three years and was the oldest jumping spider ever documented.
Temperature and climate also impact how long a jumping spider will live. Jumping spiders that must remain dormant for many months during the colder seasons are more likely to live longer.
The Average Jumping Spider Life Cycle
Let’s take a look at the four stages of life the jumping spider must go through:
After mating, the females keep spermatophores in reserve until they want to lay eggs. How many eggs a female spider will lay truly depends on the species. However, it can be anywhere from a couple of hundreds to over thousands of eggs. Once she is ready, she will deposit her eggs into the egg sac she has made and fertilize them.
Female spiders create an egg sac out of silk which they use to keep their eggs safe. Egg sacs are designed to prevent prey and the elements from eating or harming the eggs. Depending on the spider, some will choose to bring along their egg sac until the eggs are ready to hatch, while others will bury the egg sac in a secure location and leave them there until they are ready to hatch. Depending on the region, some spider eggs will remain in the sac for the winter and emerge in the springtime. Once a few weeks pass, the eggs will begin to hatch.
Once the eggs hatch, the spiderlings will begin to emerge. Some spiders leave the sac walking, while others exhibit a behavior known as ballooning. Ballooning is the process of some spiders climbing onto a twig and releasing threads of silk, allowing the wind to catch on and carry them away. Throughout the stage of being a spiderling, these babies molt multiple times as they grow larger and are at their most vulnerable until their final exoskeleton comes in. Spiders reach adulthood after five to ten molts.
After a series of molting, spiders will have reached adulthood and are ready to start reproducing. As mentioned earlier, female spiders tend to live longer than males, as males will often die soon after mating.
What Factors Shorten A Jumping Spider’s Lifespan?
Various factors may affect a jumping spider’s lifespan. Here are a few examples:
- Predators: There are many different animals that make spiders a huge part of their diet, such as wasps, flies, lizards, etc. Some wasps will use their stinger to paralyze a spider and bury it in mud nests while laying an egg on top. Once the egg has hatched, the larva will begin to devour the spider. It is also not uncommon for other spiders to consume their own kind! Throughout mating, male jumping spiders will begin to do a “dance,” which includes using an array of clicks and tapping their legs to attract a mate. Female jumping spiders will pick up on these vibrations using their sensory hairs along their bodies. They may choose to devour the male if they are unimpressed with his mating ritual. Even if the female chooses to mate with the male, soon after, she may or may not eat him, depending on if she wants to.
- Health: A jumping spider’s health plays a huge role in its ability to live a lengthy life. Spiders can contract diseases, suffer from mite infestations, and even contract worms. When a spider contracts worms, it is left with internal parasites that eat its internal tissues, slowly weakening and killing the spider.