If you’re looking for a new, unusual pet that is easy to take care of, cheap to maintain, has few space requirements, and is full of personality, look no further than the jumping spider.
Today, we will talk about how to care for a jumping spider, from setting up their enclosure to handling, feeding, watering, and everything in between. So, if you add one to your family, you’ll know exactly how to take care of it.
Jumping spider Breeds are one of the most underrated invertebrates you can have as a pet. They are extremely curious and will follow you around their enclosure, using every inch of it with their explorative nature. Even though they have eight eyes, and their two largest ones are forward-facing, they make all their expressions irresistibly cute.
- Choosing a Jumping Spider
- Feeding and Watering
- Diets And Feeding
- Cohabiting Jumping Spiders
- How To Handling Your Jumping Spider?
- Sexing Jumping Spiders
Choosing a Jumping Spider
The jumping spider joining us today is either a Phidippus regius or a Bold jumping spider or a Phidippus audax or Bold jumping spider. We don’t know exactly what species he is, so if any experienced keepers here can identify him for us, that would be wonderful. We’re still new to this hobby. If you have one as a pet, you will want to avoid using its common name when referring to it in the jumping spider community. You’ll want to refer to it by its scientific name because each species has multiple common names, which can add some confusion. So, by using the scientific name…
People will know exactly what species we are talking about. He chose us in a way; we found him crawling around our fish tank. He was literally on the hood of our fish tank when we discovered him. Oh, you just went into his little nest—cute! His name is Chalupa, by the way. We decided not to keep him ourselves, and instead, we gave him to some good friends of ours who had been wanting a jumping spider. But then, we immediately regretted that decision because we fell in love with him.
Here is the biggest Chalupa. There are many different species of jumping spiders you can keep as pets. Although most people support the species they can find in their backyard, for the most part, people find their jumping spider outside and bring it in to keep as a pet. It sounds weird because keeping a wild-caught animal in the reptile community is frowned upon.
But it’s a whole different story when it comes to jumping spiders. To find one, you’ll want to look on the warm walls of your house; that’s generally a good spot for them to hang out because they like to bask in the sun on warm afternoons. You can also look on sliding glass windows or just around your house where they can tuck behind a ledge or something yet come out into the sun.
If they want to warm up, but with the increasing popularity of jumping spiders, even in the last two or three years, more are becoming available as captive-bred specimens. There are a lot more people breeding them nowadays. If you’d instead go the captive-bred route, join a jumping spider group on Facebook or look online. There are more breeders nowadays than ever before.
Okay, let’s talk about enclosures. First, jumping spiders are arboreal, meaning they love to climb around and prefer a vertical environment over a horizontal one. They can adapt, so if all you have is a horizontally oriented enclosure, they’ll probably be fine, but they prefer something more vertically oriented. Many keepers will use a container like this; they’re like the Beanie Baby containers, which showcase Beanie Babies. Cotton balls in these will work just fine.
It would help if you avoided a mesh enclosure because the environment will dry out much faster with mesh, and dehydration is one of the biggest threats to a jumping spider. So, you want something more enclosed with just a few ventilation holes. There is no minimum size requirement for a jumping spider, but since they’re so active…
They’ll use a lot of space, so if you give them a decent amount of room, they will utilize it. Another option for an enclosure would be this guy. This is one of those newer products. They’re not a sponsor; it’s an excellent enclosure.
It’s their small invertebrate enclosure that’s super easy to put together. It puzzles together really well and transports flatter; it collapses well. We like this enclosure, and I wanted to show you guys in case you wanted to use it, too. It’s not out yet, but it will be soon, so in that case, you’re just getting a sneak peek of a new Zilla product.
Something to keep in mind with the enclosure for your jumping spider is how it opens. These guys make their nests at the top of their enclosure, so if the lid comes off, you will tear open their nest every time you open it up.
Instead, you want an enclosure that either begins about a third of the way down so that you can remove the lid without damaging their nest, or you’ll wish for a front-opening enclosure.
The substrate should be slightly moist soil. Again, dehydration threatens these little guys, especially when they’re young, so ensure it stays damp yet not soaking wet. You’ll probably want to lightly mist the substrate occasionally to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
The most fun part is decorating the enclosure, and it’s straightforward. You only have four by 8 inches to work with for a jumping spider. You can get your decor by literally going outside and grabbing sticks, branches, and leaves and bringing them inside. However, you do want to disinfect them, of course, because mites are a threat to jumping spiders. So, to clean and disinfect decor that comes from the outdoors.
I recommend dipping it in boiling water for a couple of minutes or baking it in the oven at about 250 degrees for around 20 minutes. That should kill anything that’s on the surface. Some people aren’t worried about bugs being on the decor they collect from the outdoors, but again, mites are a threat to jumping spiders and pesticides. If what you collect has been treated or sprayed with pesticides, those could instantly harm your jumping spider.
If you don’t want to get decor from outside or are unsure what to grab precisely, you can buy decor like leaves, flowers, or fake plants from Dollar Tree. It’s a super cheap way to do it.
However, your jumping spider will need some solid, sturdy objects to crawl around on, not just leaves. If you grab branches from outdoors, those could work. You can use cork bark if you don’t want to get your decor from outside.
I prefer the look of cork bark, so I use it in my enclosures instead of grabbing sticks from the outdoors. Cork bark provides an excellent, lightweight yet sturdy surface for them to crawl around. Decorating the enclosure is up to you; you can deck it out however you want.
The jumping spider isn’t going to care how pretty it is, but it’s fun to decorate if you wish. You can garnish it with flowers and leaves and attach them to the branches or the cork bark. I recommend not using a hot glue gun to connect them because the adhesive may lose its effectiveness with spritzing or contact with water over time.
Instead, a better solution that’s more permanent is just stapling the fake flowers or leaves to the cork bark itself. And that’s it—that’s your enclosure. It’s super easy. You don’t need additional heating or lighting for a jumping spider; they just like room temperature.
Feeding and Watering
Now, let’s talk about feeding and watering your jumping spider. Using a water dish is typically not recommended because, like other spiders, they can drown in it. Jumping spiders get most of the moisture they need from their prey items, which we’ll discuss next. But you can lightly mist their enclosure; they’ll drink the water droplets off the walls or their decor.
However, if you missed them, give them one spritz; that’s all they need. That’s more than enough water for them. Some keepers will, however, use a water dish. If you decide to go that route, make sure you put a cotton ball or a sponge in the water dish so that there isn’t any open water available that they could drown in instead.
They can drink water off of the sponge. It’ll also prevent the feeder insects from drowning too. Use dechlorinated water, of course. I like to use the API water conditioner because it’s very concentrated, and two drops will treat an entire gallon of water, so one bottle will last you a lifetime. I’ll link all products mentioned in this video in the description below if you need to pick anything up.
Diets And Feeding
Now, let’s talk about diets and feeding. Feeding a jumping spider is the most exciting part about owning one of them because they are great hunters. They have excellent vision. If you’re walking by their enclosure, their eyes will follow you.
They’re very movement-based, so it doesn’t take long for them to notice if you’ve dropped a cricket or another prey item in their enclosure, and they’ll quickly hunt it down.
You can feed them pretty much any appropriately sized insect as long as it isn’t a beetle of sorts because that hard shell is hard for them to get through, and for some reason, they don’t really like moths a whole lot, from what I hear.
But crickets, fruit flies, and Dubia roaches work great as feeders. If you use Dubia roaches, though, those like to dig under the soil, and it’s hard for the jumpers to find them, so I recommend feeding them in a different container if you want to use Dubia roaches. Sticking with crickets, fruit flies, and things that move around more on the surface might be easier.
Regarding size, you can feed a jumping spider an insect just about as giant as the spider itself. They are bold when it comes to hunting and eating. Some of them, though, seem more intimidated by large prey items and prefer smaller ones.
So, I don’t want to anthropomorphize a jumping spider too much, but if yours seems to be afraid of prey items roughly the same size as it, try something smaller, and it might feel more confident taking that down instead.
If it’s tough to get live feeders, jumping spiders are opportunistic feeders; they will eat pre-killed prey items. So, if you have your only cricket left, it’s dead but a good size.
Throw it in there; he feeds it. You probably will. Unlike reptiles that often need their prey to be dusted with a multivitamin or a calcium powder, you don’t need any of that for jumping spiders.
You’ll want to feed them every two to three days or so, maybe 2 to 4 days, depending on the age and size of the jumping spider. You can typically tell when they’re ready for their next meal just by observing the size of their abdomen.
After a meal, the abdomen will be quite large, but after they’ve had a couple of days to digest it, it will shrink. So, you’ll learn what a complete and empty abdomen is over time just by observing your jumping spider.
Cohabiting Jumping Spiders
let’s talk about cohabiting jumping spiders—don’t do it. They can be cannibalistic, so one per enclosure. Cleaning is pretty easy with these guys. Unlike some tarantulas or other spiders that create giant webs around their enclosure, jumpers limit their nest to just one little spot, usually near the top.
But that is their home, and they don’t rebuild their nests; they keep building onto the same nest. So, that’s why it’s so important not to tear it, like if you had a lid lifted off the top; that home is essential to them. Unlike tarantulas, when they molt, they usually remove their exoskeleton from their nest and can’t clean it up; jumping spiders take their exoskeleton and add it to the nest.
It just adds more building material to their house. So, you’ll notice that their nest will keep growing over time. Suppose you need to move them, though, like, say you’re driving this guy Chalupa.
In that case, you want to check out the habitat I just built for you; first off, to entice a jumping spider to move forward instead of poking with your finger, you can use a macaw feather, or if you don’t have them at all, I suppose you could use a paintbrush. So, we’re going to nudge them forward.
Check it out, dude. Check out your new home. If you have to move them to a new enclosure like this, they will rebuild their nest; it’s not the end of the world. They’re pretty adaptable and hardy. Since their nest is located at the top, cleaning is easy, by the way.
Cleaning is just removing any decor from their enclosure and tidying webbing. Again, they don’t make a web in their entire enclosure, but they often will trail behind a tiny thread of silk as they move around, which may accumulate a bit.
And you’ll want to remove it from time to time, but as far as waste goes, I mean, you’ll have the remains of their prey items after they’re done eating them, but their poop isn’t noticeable, so cleaning is a breeze with jumping spiders.
How To Handling Your Jumping Spider?
Now, let’s talk about handling your jumping spider. Again, to get them to move, you can touch their abdomen from the back with a paintbrush. There we go; we jumped right onto my hand.
They are very curious little fellas, as I’ve said before. They’re pretty docile; they can bite. They do have impressive-looking fangs, but the strength behind those fangs is typically not strong enough to break the skin on your fingers.
It could harm the skin on the thinner areas of your body, but when will you hold a jumping spider by your ankle? I mean, your hands are going to be just fine. And even though they can bite, their venom is not medically significant to humans.
You want to be more concerned about their safety when handling than your own. By this, I mean use clean hands. Any chemicals can negatively impact them. And any baby jumping spiders, you don’t want to hold at all.
You want to wait until they’re a decent size before you start having them. There’s a specific measurement out there that’s a minimum handling size, but just be smart about it, be gentle with them, and don’t push it.
As their name implies, they like to jump but often follow themselves with a thin strand of silk. They can fall and hurt themselves if they don’t create that stand behind them. So treat them like the little fragile beings they are, and you’ll be all right.
Sexing Jumping Spiders
Lastly, I would like to touch on sexing jumping spiders briefly. It’s relatively easy once they reach a decent size. As babies, you can’t have sex with them, but once they get to be a proper size like Chalupa here, males have pretty bulbous pedipalps; they make them look like they’re wearing boxing gloves. Males also have very long front legs. In addition, all males have some mating dance or ritual to show off to the ladies, but that can vary from species to species.
That covers how to take care of a pet jumping spider. They’re amazing animals, guys—super underrated. They’re so fascinating, and you wouldn’t think it, but they’re pretty full of personality for a little spider. I hope you all learned something new and enjoyed today’s video. As always, thank you to our Patreon backers for supporting our channel. We love all of you guys; your support is just so lovely.
Taking care of a jumping spider can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for those interested in having a unique and easy-to-manage pet. This involves choosing the suitable species and creating a proper enclosure to provide a suitable environment for these fascinating creatures. Overall, caring for jumping spiders is straightforward and fulfilling.
The article underscores the significance of grasping the unique requirements of jumping spiders, including their preference for vertical enclosures and the need to steer clear of mesh enclosures that may cause dehydration.
It delves into obtaining or breeding these spiders and provides practical tips on decorating their enclosures with safe and natural elements, offering valuable insights for potential spider enthusiasts.
The feeding and watering section highlights the self-sufficiency of jumping spiders, emphasizing their ability to derive moisture from prey items and the minimal need for additional water sources. The article also provides helpful information on their diet, feeding frequency, and the potential challenges of cohabiting with these spiders.
The article recommends being gentle when dealing with jumping spiders. It highlights the need to handle them delicately, considering their fragility and avoiding unnecessary stress. The conclusion briefly touches on determining the gender of jumping spiders, providing readers with insights into the intriguing behaviors and characteristics of these often overlooked arachnids.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I feed my Jumping Spider?
Jumping spiders typically eat small insects like fruit flies, crickets, or tiny spiders. You can purchase these insects from pet stores. It’s essential to provide a varied diet for nutritional balance.
How do you get a jumping spider to trust you?
Jumping spiders don’t precisely “trust” in the way humans do, but you can encourage positive interactions by moving slowly around them. Avoid sudden movements and vibrations, and try to hand-feed them. Over time, they may become accustomed to your presence.
Should I mist my jumping spider?
Jumping spiders don’t require high humidity levels, and misting may lead to a wet enclosure, which they dislike. Instead, provide a small water dish or moisten a part of the substrate to maintain a suitable environment without over-humidifying.
Is it OK to hold a jumping spider?
While some jumping spiders may tolerate gentle handling, it’s generally better to avoid holding them. They are delicate, and the risk of injury or stress is high. Keeping them in their enclosure is a safer and less stressful way to interact.
Do jumping spiders recognize faces?
Research suggests that jumping spiders have good vision and can distinguish patterns, but it’s unclear whether they recognize faces like humans do. They may respond to movement and specific visual cues, but their perception differs from ours.