Regal jumping spiders are becoming very popular and are super desirable for spider lovers. They're surprisingly cute and easy to care for. These creatures have only recently become commonly available as pets, and they're taking the arachnid lovers' world by storm. You've probably seen the cute videos online, often showing jumping spiders' doe-like eyes and funny antics. Now, you can keep these adorable spiders with minimal effort.
The Jumping Spiders' Appeal as Pets
There are tons of videos on YouTube showing off the cute behaviors that jumping spiders can perform. They're surprisingly interactive and interesting to watch, and they don't require a ton of attention. They have a bunch of features that people love in pet spiders.
- Their large eyes give them an almost cartoonish appearance.
- They have a curious demeanor.
- Jumping spiders have interesting hunting skills.
- They're low-maintenance.
Although jumping spiders are super interesting pets, they don't live for a long time. So keep this in mind if you're looking for a pet to share several years with.
Types, Appearance, and Size
There are a couple types of jumping spiders that are most common. These include regal jumping spiders and bold jumping spiders.
Regal Jumping Spiders
Regal jumping spiders (Phidippus regius) are usually black and brown, but they can have a range of color combinations. They're known for their large eyes on their rather small body. Female regals are bigger than males, with females growing up to 22 mm and males growing up to 15 mm. The female usually has brighter colors and can be gray and orange. The males have black bodies with white markings. The male is also known to be more slender than the female. Their jaws can be blue-green or pink.
Bold Jumping Spiders
The adult female bold jumping spider (Phidippus audax) ranges from 8 to 15mm in length, with males being smaller. Males range from 6 to 13mm. They're mostly black, with a white triangle in the center of their back, along with two small white spots below it. They have a white band on their upper abdomen.
Their powerful legs are prominent and also have white banding. In females, the fourth pair of legs is the longest. In males, the first pair of legs is longer than the rest. The mouthparts are iridescent green, with males being more vibrant than females.
The average lifespan of a regal jumping spider is 1 to 3 years. The average lifespan of a bold jumping spider ranges from 6 to 12 months in the wild, but they can live up to 18 months in captivity.
Temperament and Behavior
Generally, jumping spiders are known for their large range of behaviors. Unlike many other species that rely on webs, these spiders use their vision and jumping abilities to capture prey. They're most active during the day, which means you'll have the ability to watch them as they hunt.
They're also known to be friendly and curious. They even turn their heads to track your movement. This shows a higher level of awareness than other spider species.
Most jumping spider species, like P. audux, have courtship displays that involve captivating dances to attract a mate. These behaviors, combined with their adorable appearance, make them a fascinating pet.
Handling Your Jumping Spider
Jumping spiders prefer not to be held. But if you need to move them, you can use a handling cup. Not only does handling them result in stress, but they can be injured in the process.
Jumping spiders are relatively easy to care for in comparison to other species. They don't need a ton of space, are easy to feed, and don't do well with handling.
Enclosure Size and Setup
Jumping spiders are accustomed to being able to travel wherever they want. The bigger the enclosure, the better. However, they can do very well in a simple 10-gallon aquarium with a secure closing lid. The enclosure must be escape proof, but have some sort of ventilation system, like small holes. Since they're so small, an enclosure with a height of at least 10 inches will allow them to explore and jump freely.
Coir or paper towels can be used as substrate. Add branches, rocks, and other decor to provide a place to hide. Mimic their natural environment as much as possible.
Humidity and Temperature
Jumping spiders thrive in moderate humidity levels, so maintaining a humidity level of around 50 to 70% is recommended. You can achieve this by misting their setup daily. They prefer temperatures between 70° to 85°F (21° to 29°C) so plan to keep a heat lamp on one side of the setup to make sure they stay warm enough during cold weather.
Diet and Feeding
Feed your jumping spider twice per week. They can be fed crickets, but these must be small. They shouldn't be much larger than the spider. Once they find their prey, you will probably notice them move higher in the enclosure to jump on their prey.
If your jumping spider doesn't have enough food and there are other spiders in the enclosure, they may eat them.
Rather than providing an actual water dish, mist their enclosure daily to provide your jumping spider with something to drink. Don't leave standing water in their setup, as they may get trapped.
Jumping spiders are mostly healthy, but they can easily become dehydrated. To prevent dehydration, don't forget to mist their tank. You want enough water for them to be able to drink water droplets off of the items in the enclosure.
Finding a Jumping Spider
You can find a jumping spider in your backyard, but nearly every expert will recommend you find one from a breeder. Jumping spiders are increasingly popular, and your local pet store may have specimens to purchase. You can also look online for local breeders.
To ensure you get the right species, you should visit a breeder or attend a reptile expo. Not only can they tell you their correct age, they can provide you with invaluable advice on the species they specialize in.
You can purchase a baby spider for $10. Adults cost between $20 to $30. But this ensures you get a healthy spider that's going to live a longer life.
FAQs About Jumping Spiders
Their clever antics, unique appearance, and small space requirements have made these spiders popular as pets. There are a few things you should know, however.
- Do jumping spiders bite? Jumping spiders will bite if they feel threatened, but they're mostly friendly.
- Are they for beginners? Yes, this could be a good beginner spider.
- Can multiple spiders be kept together? In a large enough enclosure, it is possible to keep them together, but you still have the risk of one eating the other.
- Are they aggressive? Jumping spiders aren't known to be aggressive and are more likely to run away than approach you.
- Is a heat mat necessary? Yes, to keep their temperature in the desired range, a heat mat or some type of heat source is needed.
Is a Jumping Spider Right for You?
If you're searching for a spider that's easy to care for with some adorable, huge eyes, this spider could be for you. They don't live a long time, so if you're looking for a long-term pet, you should look at other spider types. Tarantulas could be more in your zone if you want a low-maintenance spider with a longer lifespan. If you're looking for a pet that doesn't take as much attention or space, however, the regal jumping spider could be for you.