Jumping spiders are fierce hunters in the wild and have many skills that help them catch their prey and outsmart many insects.
But are jumping spiders smart? Are they intelligent little creatures or just plain dumb?
Let’s discuss whether jumping spiders are smart or dumb and then get into how smart jumping spiders really are!
Are Jumping Spiders Smart?
Although they are tiny and have small brains, jumping spiders are smart spiders. They are great hunters that rely on their brains for a lot of processing from their eight eyes and vibration-sensing hairs on their bodies.
Jumping spiders don’t rely on webs to catch their prey so they have to be keen on their surroundings and pounce at a moment’s notice in order to survive in the wild.
Jumping spiders have developed intelligence and exceptional skills which helps them be efficient at actively hunting prey.
They have the ability to surprise and stalk – and some jumping spider species even use disguises to fool prey and predators.
How Smart Are Jumping Spiders?
Jumping spiders are very smart spiders. They have well-developed senses, can spot prey with their excellent eyesight, and have the skills to pounce on prey and immobilize them in seconds.
Jumping spiders are very intelligent little spiders that can decipher prey from potential mates with their eyesight alone.
Male jumping spiders rely on their skills in the mating process by displaying their beautiful colors to passing female jumping spiders and performing a dance ritual in the process.
Some male jumping spiders, such as peacock spiders, have beautiful color displays when attempting to attract mates.
Jumping spiders are intelligent and curious spiders that are more hesitant to run from humans unless they feel danger is upon them.
Because of this curiosity or interest in humans, jumping spiders seem more friendly to people than other spider species.
Are Jumping Spiders the Smartest Spiders?
Since jumping spiders have tiny brains some people assume that they must not be very intelligent spiders. However, that is the furthest from the truth.
Jumping spiders are very intelligent and even though they have small brains, they utilize what they have very well – turning their cognitive abilities into excellent hunting machines on foot while many other spiders rely on a web to catch their prey.
Although jumping spider brains are small enough to fit on a tip of a need or pin, they are masters at using what they do have in the wild.
Jumping spiders are by far the smartest spiders among spider species in relation to their cognitive abilities.
Portia jumping spiders are smart enough to strategize and tailor their planning against the specific spider species they are hunting.
Are Jumping Spiders Self-Aware?
While there has been significant testing of animals and the brains of larger animals, very little research and testing has been conducted on the brains of smaller creatures like spiders and insects.
But there is some evidence to suggest that spiders, including jumping spiders, are just as self-aware as humans.
Self-awareness is the ability to think outside your body and realize that you are an individual among many individuals present in the world around you. This meaning is no different for animals.
While there isn’t a lot of research available on spiders and self-awareness, a spider species found deep in the Peruvian Amazon may be changing the way we once thought about self-aware spiders.
The purpose of the decoys these spiders build of themselves is to trick predators into thinking they are larger and should be left alone.
And it works! So it appears nature is telling us that no matter how small creatures are, they can still have some self-awareness within them.
Can Jumping Spiders Be Trained?
There is evidence and research available to suggest that jumping spiders can be trained by humans. In an extensive study conducted by scientists and published in 2018, the scientists were able to train a jumping spider to jump on command.
However, out of four specimens, only one jumping spider had any successful jump attempts – so the study is based on the successful attempts of the sole female jumping spider.
The jumping spider species used in the study was that of the Phiddipus regius family, also known as regal jumping spiders or regal jumpers.
Since jumping spiders are excellent jumpers, the study revolved around getting the jumping spiders to jump on command when given specific cues to study more of their jumping skills and habits.
Although there was some success with training jumping spiders to jump in this study, there were also failures.
But it does provide some evidence that jumping spiders can be trained to a certain extent (some of them anyway).
Can Jumping Spiders Remember Faces?
Although jumping spiders are very smart, it is unlikely they can remember faces. Of the spider species, jumping spiders have some of the best eyesight.
Even though jumping spiders have the best eyesight, their eyes aren’t designed to recognize human faces because they don’t have a necessity to recognize faces for their daily survival.
Since there’s no need to recognize human faces and the fact that jumping spiders do have tiny brains, evolution saw no reason to give them the ability to recognize faces when more pertinent skills and senses were necessary for their survival.
Why Do Jumping Spiders Watch Humans?
Jumping spiders watch humans because they are curious little creatures. While shy and skittish work for some spiders, jumping spiders are more likely to be inquisitive and appear friendly to humans.
Some are shy and will run if they feel they are in danger, but other jumping spiders will be more curious and will stare at humans.
As stated earlier, it isn’t likely that jumping spiders recognize your face, but they can recognize your mass.
Therefore, it is unlikely that jumping spiders are looking at you with the intent of you being their next meal. They are aware enough to know that humans are not dinner for them.
Jumping spiders simply watch humans because they want to see what you are doing. They want to make sure they are not in any danger when encountering a human.
After all, curiosity killed the cat – or possibly the spider in this case!
When jumping spiders look at you, they just want to ensure their curiosity is not going to get them killed.
They are not stalking you or plotting and planning against you.
Thank you for checking out this article about how smart jumping spiders are!
Now that you know jumping spiders are smart, are you going to try to train one as your pet? It would be impressive to get one to jump on command.
Before reading this article, did you know that jumping spiders were self-aware? I hope I didn’t just blow your mind with that one!
To recap, jumping spiders are very smart – the smartest of the spider species, in regards to brain cognition.
Jumping spiders may not be able to recognize faces but they do have excellent eyesight and their brain activity makes them curious enough to interact with humans.
I hope this article answered the question, “Are jumping spiders smart?“, in-depth and gave you all the details you were seeking.