Science Main Index
There are over 5,000 species of jumping spiders throughout the world. Most live in tropical forests, although many species live in temperate forests, scrub lands, deserts, intertidal zones, and even mountains. There are a few hundred species of jumping spiders in the United States and Canada. Jumping spiders are often very colorful. Their bright colors help to attract a mate. Jumping spiders have excellent vision with four big eyes on the face and four smaller eyes on top of the head. The jumping spider's name comes from the ability to jump over 50 times its body length. To do this, the jumping spider doesn't have strong jumping legs like a grasshopper. It uses muscle contractions forcing body fluid into the legs, quickly extending the legs resulting in a jump. Before jumping the spider anchors a strand of web so that if it falls the spider can climb back up the thread. The jumping spider hunts during the day. It doesn't rely on a web to catch prey. The jumping spider will stalk its prey by crawling slowly forward, then pouncing on it. Play the following videos to learn more about the jumping spiders.