Name: Jumping Spiders
Scientific name: Salticidae family
Location: Commonly found all around Australia.
With about 5000 species, the jumping spider family is the largest family of spiders in the world! These inquisitive little creatures have the best vision of all of the arthropods and are dinural, which means they are active during the day. This gives them the opportunity to make use their fabulous eyesight.
They have four pairs of eyes, with one huge primary pair of eyes at the front of their heads – their anterior median eyes. The other three pairs are secondary visual receptors. The posterior median eyes help detect motion, and the posterior lateral eyes are wide angle motion detectors that allow 360° vision. The anterior lateral eyes (ALE) are the most complex of the secondary eyes and provide clearness of vision – so much so that all other eyes can be covered and the spider could still hunt.
Hunting involves a period of stalking its prey and calculating distance, before the spider creeps as close as it can get. It then attaches a dragline of silk before pouncing on its prey. They inject some venom to immobilise their prey before dinnertime! They are mainly carnivorous but some species do feed on nectar.
We’ve seen so many jumping spiders around Australia during our travels. Their colours and markings have ranged from black and white to green and red, and Juz thinks they are super cute – despite her occasional debilitating phobia of spiders…