Jumping spiders (Family Salticidae)
There are 79 species of jumping spiders known from Ohio. This represents about 12% of our spider species.
Characteristics of Salticidae:
- two tarsal claws (not visible without a microscope) and with claw tufts at the tips of the legs; these are visible with a magnifier and their presence enhances jumpers’ ability to climb vertical surfaces
- legs rather short and stout
- anterior median eyes very large, eyes appear to form 3 rows with posterior median eyes tiny
- jumping spiders often shift position to follow movement, including when they are looking at humans; this active gaze is one of the endearing features of these “cute” spiders
- distinctive jumping behavior
- diurnal, often colorful
The jumping spiders are probably the most distinctive group of spiders in Ohio. This family is also the second most diverse (in terms of number of species) family of spiders present in Ohio. These are active diurnal spiders. Some species are quite colorful and the males often perform dramatic courtship displays in front of the females. Jumping spiders can jump up to twenty times their body length! They are considered among the most intelligent of spiders and have exceptional spatial memory and the ability to learn. They have short and compact, but powerful, legs. The two anterior median eyes are very large with excellent image-forming ability. This feature also imparts a recognizable “face” from our point of view; making them the cutest of our spiders. While the bold jumper (Phidippus audax) has a reputation for occasionally biting, none of the jumping spiders are dangerous to humans.