Jumping Spider Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

You might think all spiders catch their prey in webs, but that's not how jumping spiders get their dinner. Learn how jumping spiders catch their prey and how their spooky-looking eyes help them hunt.

What is a Jumping Spider?

Imagine drinking a potion that shrinks you down to the size of a bug. The world would be a scary place! You'd have to watch out to avoid all kinds of creepy-crawly things like spiders. And to do that, you'd have to watch out for more than just webs.

Jumping spiders are spiders that catch their prey by hunting them down and pouncing on them; they don't use webs. Jumping spiders belong to a family of spiders called Salticidea. They are very active hunters. Rather than waiting for prey to get trapped in their web, jumping spiders go out and search for their meals.

Jumping Spider
Spider

A jumping spider might see you before you see it. Jumping spiders have great vision, which makes them good hunters. They see so well because of their crazy-looking eyes.

What Do They Look Like?

To stay away from jumping spiders in your tiny state, you'll need to look into the eyes of every spider you meet.

Weird Eyes!
eyes

Jumping spiders have rows of eyes with two big eyes in the middle of the front row. These special eyes allow them to judge how far away their prey is, so they know how far they have to jump to catch their dinner, which is usually some type of insect.

There are many species of jumping spiders and they come in different colors. Their size also varies from very tiny (about one-tenth of an inch) up to about a half inch in length. Larger jumping spiders are about the same size as the width of a pinky finger.

Jumping Spiders come in different colors.
color

Jumping spiders, like all spiders, have two body segments. They have an abdomen and a cephalothorax, which is a fused head and chest. The prefix 'cephalo' refers to head and the suffix 'thorax' refers to the chest. Their eight legs come off of their cephalothorax, and they have fangs that they use to inject a venom-filled bite into their prey.

Other Jumping Spider Facts

These spiders live all over the world, including the United States. They live in many different habitats including deserts, forests, and swamps.

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