They are another spider’s worst nightmare!
They are very smart spiders, possibly the smartest due to their larger brains and the many ways they are able to catch prey.
In this article, you will learn everything about fringed jumping spiders including what they look like, how they hunt, where they are found, what they eat, how they hunt, and a whole host of other facts.
Let’s get started!
Fringed Jumping Spider | Portia fimbriata
The Portia fimbriata – belonging to the genus Portia and commonly referred to as the fringed jumping spider or the Portia spider – is a small jumping spider that is known for its super intelligence and spider-eating diet.
Along with high intelligence, Portia spiders also have precise leaping capabilities, which are sometimes needed to jump onto other spiders while they are still in their webs.
The Portia jumping spider has large anterior eyes and has the best eyesight among all the jumping spider species.
Not only does this spider have the best eyesight but it also has been discovered that Portia spiders have a comparatively larger brain than all other spiders.
This larger brain is very useful for predatory hunting and provides Portia spiders with a lot of different ways to catch prey, which is discussed below in the hunting behavior section.
There are 17 known species of Portia spiders and all of the species have some shade of brown – ranging from a light tan color to a dark brown color.
Some species are all solid colors of brown while others will have stripes or patterns found on their bodies.
Although they are the smartest, they are not the biggest among jumping spider species.
Instead, fringed jumping spiders use their intelligence to compensate for a smaller size when hunting.
Check out the size differences between the male and female Portia spiders below.
|Portia fimbriata||Adult Male||Adult Female|
|Body Width Range||5 to 7 (mm)||6 to 10 (mm)|
|Body Width Average||6 (mm)||8 (mm)|
As shown in the table above, they don’t get that big.
But since they have high intelligence, their size doesn’t impede their way of life and these little spiders are deceptive, effective, and accurate when on the hunt for other spiders.
Unlike many other jumping spider species, Portia spiders have been observed living together and sharing prey.
Most jumping spiders are solitary and will practice cannibalism on other spiders in their species, but fringed jumping spiders have the ability to distinguish spiders from other species to help them recognize their own.
They use this advantage to avoid killing other spiders from their own species and to socialize with other spiders of their species.
They are also unique in the way they hunt and the way they are able to deceive their prey.
They have the ability to analyze their surroundings and understand depth and distance to determine the best way to approach and attack prey, whether on the ground or in a web.
They have problem-solving skills that make them very effective and successful when utilizing their big brains for snagging a meal.
Fringed jumping spiders are a spider’s worst nightmare. They are well-known for eating spiders and will take down spiders up to three times their own size.
They prey on many other species of spiders by outwitting them in their own webs and can use several forms of deception to snatch their prey.
Portia jumping spiders are very intelligent spiders and have excellent hunting skills. They are active hunters during the day like other jumping spiders but there are some noticeable differences.
Fringed jumping spiders not only stalk and pounce on their prey but they also do trial and error hunting to determine the best method of taking down particular prey.
They can map their world in three dimensions to determine a plan of attack on their prey.
They have the ability to sneak up on web-building spiders and attack them while they are in their webs.
They can descend from above using their silken threads and surprise attack spiders while they are in their webs by jumping them from behind to avoid a web spider’s fangs and venom.
If they are unable to access a spider in a web from above, they will slightly tug on the web to imitate prey caught in the web so the spider comes to them.
Because it purposely takes indirect routes to get to prey, it is believed that a Portia spider can plan and has problem-solving capabilities.
Portia spiders are also unique in the way they mate compared to other jumping spider species.
Instead of mating on the ground or a surface area, this species can mate in mid-air.
Males will entice females by showing off their legs. The males extend their legs and shake them to attract the females.
Once a female has accepted a male’s advances, she drums on her web.
Once the male mounts the female, she drops a dragline and mating happens in mid-air.
Mating can occur on or off the web.
While fringed jumping spiders are known to practice social behavior, cannibalism by the females can still happen at times before or after mating with the males.
Once mating has completed, females store sperm for fertilization and sometimes eat the males.
They then produce an egg sac and silk their eggs within a hollow of a curved leaf and fertilize with the male’s sperm.
After laying the eggs, spiderlings emerge from the egg sac around three to four weeks later.
Portia spiders can be found in a lot of different regions and countries including Africa, Australia, China, Madagascar, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Portia spiders are mainly found in tropical rain forests and in areas that see a lot of moisture, but some can also be found in woodlands.
They make webs in a variety of habitats including bark, foliage, rocks, roots, rockpiles, and cave entrances.
Subadult females and males will live in the same web together and mate after they reach adulthood.
Portia spiders have a lifespan that ranges between one to two years and they live an average of one and half years.
Fringed Jumping Spider | Portia Spider Questions
Below are a few typical questions and answers regarding fringed jumping spiders – Portia fimbriata.
Do Fringed Jumping Spiders Make Good Pets?
Since fringed jumping spiders live mainly in rainforests and around moist areas, they aren’t usually the first choice as pet jumping spiders.
You may be able to get them from a breeder in your area, but they aren’t the most popular as pets due to where they are found.
If you happen to find one for sale and are thinking about getting a Portia spider as a pet, here are some things to consider before making that decision:
- They don’t live that long
- They are not aggressive toward humans
- They are small but highly intelligent
- They don’t require a lot of living space but prefer moist living conditions
- They can be cheaper than other pets, but this species may cost a little more due to them not living around human populations
- They are wild but can be friendlier than other spider species
Do Fringed Jumping Spiders Bite?
Fringed jumping spiders can bite just like any other jumping spider. They have fangs that are used to inject venom into their prey.
Are Fringed Jumping Spiders Poisonous?
While they can bite and inject venom, they are not dangerous to humans and pose very little threat to other pets.
Although they are venomous, their venom is not sufficient enough to cause any major medical issues in humans or other animals.
They are not poisonous to eat so if your dog or cat happens to eat one, they should suffer no ill side effects.
Thank you for checking out this article about fringed jumping spiders.
To recap, Portia spiders are known for their intelligence and problem-solving skills.
They are spider hunters and their main diet consists of web-building spiders.
They have a variety of habitats but are mainly found in rainforests and moist environments.
They can be kept as pets but aren’t the most popular choice among jumping spiders.
If you happened to enjoy this article about fringed jumping spiders, check out our “spiders” section to view articles about other spider species.