There are more to jumping spiders than meet the eye. Can you believe that among all the members of the spider family, this one spider can fly? Don’t be confused, they jump, but the range on how high they can jump is so impressive that they make it look like they are flying! They can jump up to five times your own height or to be exact, 40 times their body length.
What they look like
They are an attractive bunch; they can be green or black in color with designs on their bodies even though they are still hairy. The baby’s body length can range from 12 to 35 mm. Although small, they can kill preys twice their size! It is because of their ability and “equipment” to strategize when hunting for food.
First, are the eyes. They have 3 pairs that are fixed and one pair that is movable allowing them to view the world in 360 degrees. So, if you are observing them face to face and you move towards the rear, they can still follow your movement. This characteristic is the reason why they can focus on their prey and at the same time continually they observe and study the environment around them both. Their stereoscopic vision can be compared to how the zoom of camera lenses works; they can take in details such as colors and images. Their eyes also contain ultraviolet-sensitive and green sensitive pigments that allow them to calculate the distance between their preys. Their eyes are not used for hunting and navigation alone because they also use these for courtship. Male has iridescent eye color while females have plainer ones.
Ability to jump
According to Wikipedia, jumping spiders have a “well developed internal hydraulics system [that] extends their limbs by altering the pressure of body fluid within them.” This is the reason why they have very powerful jumps! But what is hydraulics you’d ask? Hydraulics is the process where we get energy from the motion of liquid.
Jumping spiders are also prepared whenever they jump. Before the jump, they will tether a filament of silk to serve as drag line in case the jump fails. If they fail, they will simply climb back up on the silk. No sweat! Bungee jumping, anyone?
And lastly, their hunting behavior. The minute these spiders detect their prey, they will inspect them, and if no danger can be seen, will then go near them and attach a drag line before springing on them. It is also observed that they don’t follow a straight path to the prey. They will circle them, sometimes going through paths that they can’t even see their target in sight.
Jumping spiders are members of the Salticidae family and usually found in deserts, scrub lands, intertidal zone, mountainous regions and their favorite are tropical forests like the Himalayas and Mount Everest.
Non-poisonous kind of spider
These spiders are not poisonous to humans. Unless you are allergic to spider’s venom, you will notice that the area bitten will have a significant swelling and is painful and itchy similar to the symptom of a wasp bite. It becomes serious when you experience chills, headaches, vomiting and painful muscle and joints. When no sign for serious symptoms, you can wash the bite and apply antibiotic ointment otherwise call your doctor.
Among the spiders jumping spiders are attractive, very much attentive and also a strategist. If they were human beings, they will make an excellent spy.