Jumping Spider Identification Key

Jumping spiders are usually black in color, but can also be brown or grayish, and they generally have lighter colored markings on their legs and bodies. In fact, some types of jumping spiders have quite a lot of spots and markings all over. These markings can be white, yellow, gray, and even red or green. Many varieties are quite colorful and some coloration even appears iridescent. These colors may serve as camouflage for jumping spiders, which are hunters. There are also some types of jumping spiders that look a great deal like ants and are able to invade an ant population without being noticed.

Adult jumping spiders are quite hairy, usually measure 1/8 to 3/4 inches in body length, and are somewhat stocky compared to other spider species. Their legs are short and the front two are thicker than the others. Each leg bears two claws.

Jumping spiders have eight eyes in three rows-four in the front row, then two more rows of two. The two eyes in the center of the first row are characteristically large.

Along with their ability to jump great distances, these spiders have excellent vision and are able to move quickly backward and sideways. They do not built webs to catch their prey, but will attack it as it passes by or even stalk it until they decide to pounce. However, they do build webs as places to retreat, molt, or lay eggs. It is believed that they may even create a separate web for each of these functions.

Jumping spiders are usually seen on bushes, fences, among leaves or bark, and on trees. If found indoors, these spiders are usually spotted near windows and doors where they can locate prey. When they jump, these spiders will utilize a silk thread as a safety line.