G7386, Revised March 2003
Jumping spiders vary from small to medium-sized with
stout bodies and short legs. The cephalothorax and abdomen are nearly equal
in size. The body is usually very hairy and is often iridescent or brightly
colored. They usually live in the tops of low-growing plants. Males often have
peculiar bunches of hairs or spots on their legs and head, and they use these
features to attract the attention of females during courtship and mating.
Unlike most spiders, jumping spiders forage for prey during the day. Since
they are active during the day, they are often noticed by humans. They do not
use silk to make a web for capturing prey. Instead, they stalk their prey by
approaching slowly to a short distance before making a sudden leap onto it.
They use silk as an anchor, attaching a strand before leaping. This allows them
to climb back to their original location if they miss the prey.
G7386, revised March 2003
Order publications online at http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/shop/ or call toll-free 800-292-0969.