For people that enjoy keeping exotic pets, jumping spiders make a great choice. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to raise, and are one of the most unusual animals you can find. Jumping spiders are similar to regular spiders but are usually smaller and prefer to jump around erratically instead of building a web. Many of these spiders can be quite attractive and fun to watch. If you are interested in owning one of these spiders but would like to learn a little more about them first, keep reading while we list several species to get you going. For each entry, we’ll show you a picture and provide you with a short description so you can make an informed decision.
Pet Jumping Spiders
1. Bold Jumping Spider
The Bold Jumping Spider can also be called the Daring Jumping Spider, and many people confuse it with a Black Widow because it can often have a black body with red markings on the back. However, this spider is not poisonous and poses no danger to humans. It’s usually quite tiny and rarely grows larger than ½ inch, and you can find them all through Canada, the United States, and Mexico. These spiders use a small amount of webbing to lay eggs or to create a place to hide, but they hunt by leaping on their prey as it climbs a vertical surface.
2. Regal Jumping Spider
The Regal Spider is slightly larger than the Bold Jumping Spider we just talked about, but it still rarely grows to more than ¾ inch. The males are always black with white spots and stripes, while the females will have the same pattern of spots and stripes but vary in color from gray to bright orange. It’s easy to identify because the three spots on the back often look like a smiley face. It prefers open areas with trees or walls that it can use as a hunting ground. They usually don’t bite, but if they do, you can expect some minor swelling.
3. Tan Jumping Spider
As you may have guessed, the Tan Jumping Spider is often tan in color, but it can also get quite dark with some almost looking black. It can compress its body close to the ground so it can hide in extremely tight hiding places when it’s not hunting. It rarely bites but will defend itself if you handle it roughly or squeeze it, which can be quite painful but not life-threatening. These spiders, like the others, prefer to stay near tall vertical surfaces where they can easily see their prey. They are quite curious of humans, often letting you scoot them onto your hand where they can explore and jump to different fingers before going back to their hunting. These are communal spiders that will often sleep in groups of 50 or more to create a blanket at the base of a tree to stay warm.
4. Zebra Jumping Spider
The Zebra Jumping Spider is a species that has a black body with prominent white stripes that resemble a pattern similar to what you might see on a Zebra. These spiders are quite common, and you can find them all over the United States living close to humans. They frequent walls, plants, fences, and windowsills where they will bask and hunt on sunny days. These are tough little spiders that owners witness taking on prey as large as three times their size. It tends to move slowly toward its prey until it is in range to jump.
5. Elegant Golden Jumping Spider
The Elegant Golden Jumping Spider prefers to live in rainforests. It’s one of the more colorful species with traces of red, blue, green, yellow, purple, and more. It’s a slender spider that is quite hard to find. In fact, in more than 150 years, we’ve only heard descriptions of the male.
6. Shiny Jumping Spider
The Shiny Jumping Spider has a similar body style as the Elegant Golden Jumping Spider, but it isn’t as colorful. It has excellent vision and can spot prey from 30 feet away, making it an extremely successful hunter. It’s a friendly spider that is not dangerous to humans and will only bite if it feels threatened, usually because someone squeezes it.
7. Heavy Jumper
The Heavy Jumper jumping spider is a white furry spider that you will often see among the vegetation in your garden. It’s quite large compared to most other jumping spiders, and it’s usually active during the day. It uses the web as a support line to bungee jump onto its prey, and the males perform elaborate rituals to convince the females to mate with them.
8. White-Mustached Jumping Spider
The White-Mustached Jumping Spider is a versatile hunter that can change tactics uring battle to ensure the win. Despite its small size, it has better vision than a cat during the day when it’s most active and can see into the ultraviolet spectrum. It usually takes 3–5 minutes to pursue prey, but some hunts can last much longer, with some hunts observed to last up to ten hours.
As you can see, there are several jumping spiders you can choose between when you are looking for a new pet. We recommend the Bold Jumping Spider or the Zebra Jumping Spider because both of these species are common in the United States, so it will not be difficult to create a suitable habitat as it might be for a spider that lives in a tropical habitat. None of these spiders are poisonous, and they are all fun to watch. The only downside about keeping these spiders as pets is that most only live about one year before you will need to replace them, and that’s if you get them while they are still young.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this list, and it has helped answer your questions. If we have helped you find the next addition to your family, please share this guide to the types of jumping spiders you can keep as pets on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Eric_Karits, Pixabay