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Buying & Caring For Pet Jumping Spiders

Ready for your 'web puppy'? Here's how to shop for and care for a pet jumping spider. With so many options available, we'll break down morphs, locales, phases, and more.

Table of Contents

Buying a jumping spider.

If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of jumping spiders available and the variations in each species, we’re here to guide you through the selection process, focusing on ideal choices for beginners, and highlighting the differences between species, ‘locales’, and variations.

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What are jumping spider locales, phases, and species?

The species of a jumping spider refers to the distinction in the animal itself. For example, Phidippus regius is a species of jumping spider, while Phidippus audax is another. Both species Regius and Audax belong to the genus Phidippus.

The locale of a jumping spider refers to its country or country of origin. For example, Phidippus regius from Florida, known as the ‘P. regius Florida locale’ are known to be slightly larger than other P. regius. The ‘White Bahamas’ locale, native to the Bahamas, is highly sought after for the snow-white colouration found in a percentage of females.

Jumping spider phases refer to the natural colour variation found in a species. P. Regius have an orange phase, where the rusty tones of its exoskeleton are very prominent, along with a cream phase, where the fluffy exterior is pale and muted in colour.

Choosing a pet jumping spider species

Jumping spiders are notoriously simple pets to keep. There are so many different species to choose from, but we recommend you get started with the following popular options:

Jumping spider 'localities' and 'variants

Certain jumping spiders species, most often the regal jumping spiders, have several unique colours and markings based on which area of their native country they come from. These are called ‘locales’. Jumping spider locales are identical in care to their standard form. Here’s a look at some Phidippus regius localities:

Housing your pet jumping spider

You’ve probably seen dozens of creative jumping spider enclosures online, and have exciting ideas of your own. Let’s go into the absolute necessities, and how you can spruce it up.

If you’re shopping for someone else or just want a helping hand, you may be interested in our pre-selected bundles of jumping spider equipment.

Selecing an enclosure

For the regal jumping spider and other members of the genus Phidippus, the enclosure you should select depends on how old your spider is. For spiderlings, small plastic or acrylic enclosures are the go-to, as too large of an enclosure and your spider may escape.

For mature adults, you’ll find your pet will thrive in more spacious options such as the 20x20x20cm ExoTerra Nano, or the Giganterra Invertarium.

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Jumping spider substrates & humidity

Keeping your jumping spider enclosure’s humidity high will keep them happy, healthy, and prevents mismolts. A good substrate will do just that.

The most popular substrates for pet jumping spiders include coco coir, peat, and commercially made spider substrates. These substrates expertly absorb moisture, keeping the habitat’s relative humidity levels high.

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Keeping your substrate clean

While spiders don’t need regular changing of their substrate, it’s important to do just a little cleaning from time to time.

When you’re done feeding your spider, any excess livefood bits should be removed from the habitat. Not only does it keep it looking tidy, but mould and harmful bacteria are likely to form on the leftover insect corpses, and that’s not something you want in your pet’s home. Both fungal and bacterial infections can be lethal, and picking up after dinner time will largely prevent this.

As an additional measure, affectionately termed ‘clean up crews’ will munch away at any decaying matter including animal matter. Clean up crews consist of springtails and isopods, and are popular in bioactive setups for this reason.

 

Temperature, heating, and humidity

Let’s get into the age-old question: do you need a heat mat for jumping spiders?

The answer is that it depends. If you live in a cold house or in a cold climate, a heat mat is recommended. If you’re housing tropical species such as the heavy or eyelash jumping spider, (H. giganteus, H. diardi respectively) a heat mat is necessary.

For members of the genus Phidippus such as the regal jumping spider, a heat mat is not necessary but will boost your spider’s metabolism, making them grow faster and be more active.

To go with your heat mat, a combined hygrometer-thermometer will measure both the relative humidity and temperature inside your pet’s home. While not necessary, monitoring the environment is always a good idea.

To keep your spider’s habitat humid, a fine-mist spray bottle is recommended. A daily gentle mist of the enclosure walls, substrate, and decor will keep your spider happy.

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Feeding your pet jumping spider

Jumping spiders are carnivorous animals, feeding almost exclusively on insects and arachnids. In captivity, they’re fed live insects such as crickets, mealworms, green bottle flies, and fruit flies.

Depending on the species, very young spiderlings will thrive on D. Melanogaster or D. Hydeii fruit flies. As they mature, we recommend curlywing flies, green bottle flies, wax-moths, mini mealworms, and crickets.

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How do I feed them?

When you’ve selected the appropriate food for your spood, gently place it into your pets enclosure, within their line of view. Give your spider time to notice the prey, ensuring it does not hide or burrow down. If it’s hungry, it will pounce, picking the food up in its fangs.

It’s possible to hand-feed jumping spiders if prey is very gently held in front of your spider. It may attempt to jump onto your hand to grab it. Alternatively, wounded prey items can be touched to your pet’s mouth, ensuring your pet can, in less gruesome terms, taste the prey’s exposed insides.

How often should I feed my jumping spider?

You should aim to feed your spider every 3-7 days, although some may accept food more often or less than that. You can tell if your pet is super hungry or famished by the plumpness of the abdomen. A very hungry spider will have a flat abdomen, a very full spider will have a fat, plump abdomen.

Offer your pet food around 1/3rd or 1/2 of its size, working from the smallest size upward. Many jumping spiders will accept food their own size or larger, so it’s all about finding out what your particular pet is happy to hunt down.

Decorating my pet's habitat

The internet is full of dainty spidey-hides, decorations, and gimmicky items – but what’s really necessary?

At the core of it all, jumping spiders are wild animals that will thrive in an environment that mimics their natural habitat – forests, jungles, the great outdoors. There are three things jumping spiders love: hunting, hiding, and exploring. So, here’s our recommendation on the best decor and setup ideas to keep them truly happy.

It doesn’t get more natural than live plants, with the leaves offering plenty of shelter and areas for your spider to wander around and within. The golden pothos, mini-monstera, and nerve plant are all super popular choices.

Barks, wood chunks, and sticks all provide even more surface area for your pet. They also spruce up the enclosure, making it look nicer. Our favourite is Lucky Reptile’s opuwa wood.

Covering your substrate with vibrant green moss like ZooMed’s terrarium moss not only aids in boosting relative humidity but also just generally adds a bit more colour to a habitat. Deciduous leaves add to the natural forest-floor feel, and give your clean-up crew something to nibble on during off-work hours!

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