While spiders are known for spinning and hanging from webs, some species can jump and startle you. Most spiders that jump are from the family Salticidae and are called “jumping spiders.” There are over 4,000 species of jumping spiders worldwide and around 300 species can be found in the U.S. Although most spiders can lunge or hop, the jumping spiders’ ability to lift into the air or jump twice their body length is by far the most impressive.
This article will cover information on 11 species of spiders that jump, including interesting facts and where you can find these acrobatic animals.
11 spiders that jump really well
Here is information on 11 common spiders that jump. Don’t let them catch you off guard when they leap at you!
1. Bold jumping spider
Scientific name: Phidippus audax
Also known as the daring jumping spider, bold jumping spiders are native to North America and less shy than other species on this list. You’ll commonly find these spiders in or around your home. They are typically black with whitish or red spots and grow around 0.5 inches long but can reach 0.8 inches.
These spiders have great eyesight that they use when hunting but also as visual communication for mating. For example, the males will use signals like lifting their legs to attract females.
2. North American jumping spider
Scientific name: Naphys pulex
As their name suggests, you can find the North American jumping spider throughout Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. They grow between 0.03 to 0.15 inches long and are typically a mix of brown, black, grey, and white coloring.
These spiders can jump over 3 to 4 times their body length and don’t even need a running start. This ability helps them ambush their prey before using a silk dragline to pull the prey.
3. Tan jumping spider
Scientific name: Platycruptus undatus
The tan jumper grows between 0.3 to 0.5 inches, with females larger than males. These spiders are white, gray, or black and have a unique chevron-looking pattern on their abdomens. Their furry gray or white pedipalps by their mouths also look like mustaches. They are most common in the eastern U.S.
4. Giant jumping spider
Scientific name: Hyllus giganteus
The giant jumping spider is native to Australia and Sumatra. However, they are a popular species among breeders and pet owners in America since they are known as the largest jumping spider. They grow an average of 0.71 to 0.98 inches long. It’s easy to identify them based on their size and the stripes and black bands across their face and head.
5. Dimorphic jumper
Scientific name: Maevia Inclemens
The dimorphic jumper is a common spider species throughout eastern U.S. states. They get their names from the different “morphs” and colorings. Around half of the males are either gray morphs (gray with white stripes) or dark morphs (black with white legs).
Females typically have brown bodies with red and white markings on their abdomen. These small spiders grow between 0.2 and 0.3 inches.
6. Red-backed jumping spider
Scientific name: Phidippus johnsoni
The red-backed jumping spider have bright red abdomens with a black body and is sometimes easily confused with the redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti), which is highly venomous. This jumping spider is one of the larger species native to North America, growing an average of 0.35 to 0.55 inches in body length.
You can commonly find these spiders from the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean, especially in dry habitats such as oak woodlands and coastal dunes. They create tubular silk nests hidden under wood, rocks, or grapevines. While they mostly eat insects, this species is known to prey on spiders or engage in cannibalism when the females feed on males.
7. Zebra jumping spider
Scientific name: Salticus scenicus
Zebra spiders are beautifully patterned black or dark brown spiders with white hairs that look like zebra stripes. They grow around 0.25 inches and can be found in every state of the U.S. Their average jumping speed is between 2.1 to 2.6 feet per second and they can jump over 14 times their body length!
8. Magnolia green jumper
Scientific name: Lyssomanes viridis
The magnolia green jumper is a bright green spider that sometimes looks translucent with faint spots on its body. Their eyes are black and round with surrounding orange or yellow hairs. These small spiders grow up to 0.3 inches in body length.
Like most jumping spiders, they don’t spin webs but will produce silk as safety lines to prevent high falls when doing risky jumps. You can find the magnolia green jumper in the southeastern U.S. states, including Florida, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.
9. Gray wall jumper
Scientific name: Menemerus bivittatus
The gray wall jumper is a gray spider with thin whitish-gray hairs covering its body. Although growing an average of 0.5 inches in length or smaller, these spiders can take down prey twice their body size. You can commonly find them in California, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
10. Regal jumping spider
Scientific name: Phidippus regius
The regal jumping spider is typically gray or black with black or white bands on their legs and white spots on their abdomen. However, females also have an orange form that is brownish with orange abdomens. Females are also larger than males growing an average of 0.6 inches and up to 0.9 inches.
These spiders are most common in the southeastern U.S. and throughout Texas. While they would rather run and hide than attack you, it’s not dangerous if you do get bitten. You may experience pain, swelling, and in worst cases, headaches and nausea.
11. Carolina wolf spider
Scientific name: Hogna carolinensis
Jumping spiders are not the only group of species that can jump – wolf spiders can too. Although not as high or often as jumping spiders, the Carolina wolf spider will pounce on its prey when hunting. They get their names from how they follow their prey in the wild, similar to wolves. These spiders are the largest wolf spiders in North America, growing 1-inch long.