Zebra jumping spiders are beautiful spiders! Some of the more colorful and cutest spiders found around the world belong to the family of jumping spiders.
While zebra jumping spiders aren’t the most colorful of the jumping spiders, they do have their own unique traits that make them stand out from the crowd.
In this article, you will learn all about zebra jumping spiders – including where they are found, what they look like, how they behave, what types of habitats they live in, and how long they live.
Let’s get started!
Zebra Jumping Spider | Salticus scenicus
These tiny spiders can be found all around the world and are one of the more observed jumping spider species because they are widely distributed around human populations.
Zebra jumping spiders are small jumping spiders that are covered with scales that can be of various colors.
They have the typical trademarks of jumping spiders with their jerky motions and start and stop capabilities that intrigue some humans and creep others out.
However, most people find jumping spiders less intimidating than other spiders unless you have a fear of spiders (arachnophobia).
They have excellent eyesight with binocular vision thanks to their two enormous front-facing eyes.
Like all other jumping spiders, zebra jumpers have eight eyes with the other six eyes arranged around the front and sides of their head which not only provides them with excellent vision but also gives them a wide view of their surrounding environment – front and back.
So you won’t be able to sneak up on one of these cute little spiders because they kinda have eyes in the back of their heads.
Zebra jumping spiders have somewhat of a brown or black body with covering scales that vary in color.
Narrower scales tend to be black or a reddish color while broader scales tend to be iridescent green or magenta in color or an opaque white or yellow color.
Some species have an abdomen with narrow scales that are black in color along with broad scales that are white in color.
These black and white stripes are why people started calling them “zebra” jumping spiders.
While some have these distinct black and white stripes and others vary in color, some are all black which is believed to help them with camouflage in industrially populated areas.
Some colors do not seem to play a significant role in mating rituals for the males of the species so it is believed that the various colors that zebra jumpers display are used for camouflage or mimicking or both.
Zebra jumping spiders are one of the smaller jumping spider species but they are a diverse species and seem to thrive and survive with ease even with their small size.
Check out the table below to see zebra jumper male and female size differences.
|Salticus scenicus||Adult Male||Adult Female|
|Body Width Range||5 to 6 (mm)||5 to 9 (mm)|
|Body Width Average||5 (mm)||7 (mm)|
Salticus scenicus males have longer chelicerae and pedipalps than females do but are smaller than females in overall size and length.
Zebra jumping spiders are not aggressive spiders. Males of the species are known to fight at times and they are aggressive when pouncing on their prey, but they are not aggressive in regard to humans.
They can be commonly found around humans but they are not a danger to humans and serve to help control the insect population.
Zebra jumping spiders eat insects like other jumping spiders but they can be commonly found around water preying on aquatic gnats and other water-related insects like flies and mosquitoes.
They also eat smaller species of moths, smaller spiders, and other arthropods.
Zebra jumping spiders are active hunters during daylight hours. They have been observed taking down prey at least two to three times their own size.
They stalk and move slowly toward their prey until the right moment and then they jump and pounce on their prey. Their eyesight helps them accurately judge the distance needed to jump.
Their hunting behavior has been described to be similar to that of a cat when it hunts due to its slow, stalking approach toward prey.
Zebra jumping spiders mate during the late spring and early summer months. Males conduct a courtship dance during the mating ritual.
Their dance is a display to win the female over and accept his advances for mating.
It is important that a zebra jumping spider has great eyesight because a male relies heavily on his dance routine to impress the female and the female needs to see the dance clearly to decide if the male is worthy.
If the male does a good job and wins the female over, he will be rewarded and the mating will begin.
If the male doesn’t do a good job or if the female just feels like it, the male may still be killed and eaten by the female even after mating.
Jumping spider males have it rough. Since they are smaller than the females, they are sometimes killed by the female regardless of whether they mated or not.
After mating, females will lay an egg sac in a protective web that will hold anywhere from 15 to 25 eggs.
Once 3 to 4 weeks have passed, the eggs will hatch and the young spiders will emerge from the egg sac.
Zebra female jumping spiders stay with and guard their young spiderlings until after they’ve had their second molt.
Once the second molting process has been completed, the mother leaves them and forces them to venture out into the world on their own.
Zebra jumping spiders are commonly found throughout the United States and southern Canada.
They are also found in Asia and Europe and at least one species of zebra jumping spiders lives on every continent except Antarctica.
Zebra jumping spiders have a variety of habitats depending on where they are located.
They can be found in open habitats that include bushes, high grass, shingle beaches, and tree trunks.
They are also commonly spotted in gardens, on fences, on rock walls, under stones, and on the exterior walls of buildings.
Since they share habitats in close proximity to humans, they are commonly found in door and window frames of homes.
Some will even venture inside homes when doors and windows are left open.
The oldest recorded jumping spider lifespan was a mere three years, so they don’t get a long life regardless of the species.
Zebra Jumping Spider | Questions
Below are a few commonly asked questions about zebra jumping spiders – Salticus scenicus.
Do Zebra Jumping Spiders Make Good Pets?
When getting any animal as a pet, it is important to assess your living situation and what you are looking for in a pet.
With that said, here are some things to consider before deciding to get a zebra jumping spider as a pet:
- Their lifespan is short as they only live between 10 to 24 months
- They are not aggressive toward humans
- They are small and can be excellent beginner-friendly pets
- They don’t need a lot of space (they do need enough space to jump and stay active)
- They don’t require a lot of care to keep as pets
- They are cheap or you can just catch one outdoors to keep as a pet
- You may be able to be handle one with enough patience, but they are not domestic
When considering any animal as a new pet, just remember to determine what is best for you and your household based on your needs and your ability to care for a new pet.
Before getting a zebra jumping spider as a pet, do thorough research and learn everything about the species in your area to ensure you are not getting a pet without knowing all the pros and cons associated with that pet.
Do Zebra Jumping Spiders Bite?
Like all other jumping spiders, zebra jumpers will bite if you are hurting them or if they feel they are in danger.
As stated before, they are not aggressive toward humans but they will bite in order to save their own lives.
They can crawl on you and never bite, but if you squish them or touch them, they may bite in self-defense.
Are Zebra Jumping Spiders Poisonous?
Although zebra jumping spiders can bite, they pose no threat to humans. They are not poisonous, so you can eat as many as you want.
However, they are venomous and will inject venom through bites but their venom isn’t a medical concern for humans.
Venom from a zebra jumping spider bite is about the equivalent of an insect sting or bite.
Venom does not cause any serious medical issues in humans, but some bites may cause medical problems if they get infected.
Keeping the affected area around the bite clean and using some type of anti-bacterial cream are most effective to keep your chances of getting an infection low.
If you are allergic to insect stings and bites, zebra jumping spider venom may cause you to have an allergic reaction.
Just be cautious around these cute little spiders if you’ve had an allergic reaction to a bee sting or insect bite in the past.
Thanks for checking out this article about zebra jumping spiders.
As stated, Salticus scenicus are beautiful little spiders that are commonly found in most places of the world, especially around human populations.
They get the name, “zebra jumping spider” because of their black and white hairs or bristles that form stripes on their legs and most notably on their abdomens.
Some don’t bear these markings and can be all black when found around industrial populations to help with camouflage.
Although they live close to humans, there is no real threat and they help with controlling insect populations, so it is best to let these little spiders be and allow them to prey on insects.
Zebra jumping spiders can be great pets for the right pet owners and can even be caught from outside to keep as pets.
They are amazing and adorable little spiders! That’s all for now about zebra jumpers.
If you enjoyed this article, check out our “spiders” section to learn more about other jumping spider species.