Saitis barbipes is an adventurous companion to have with an epic common name to match!
The Bearded Foot Spider will be the focus of this article and there are a lot of exciting reasons to keep it if you ever stumble upon one.
Get ready to learn how to best care for your new friend and how to ensure they are getting the best possible care.
Read on to learn more about the needs and life of the dynamic and captivating pet jumping spider!
|Common Name||Bearded Foot Spider|
|Scientific Name||Saitis barbipes|
|Lifespan||1 to 2 Years|
|Adult Size||0.4 - 0.57 cm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||1 Gallon|
What Are Bearded Foot Spiders?
Saitis barbipes are a species of arachnids belonging to the family Salticidae, colloquially known as jumping spiders.
These small, eight-legged spiders are recognizable by the wispy tufts of fur that resemble a human beard, hence the name, which they often use to sense motion.
Native to hot and dry climates, these agile predators are commonly found in hardwood and conifer forests and deserts, preying on insects and other arthropods such as ants and beetles.
These curious creatures have even been observed interacting with humans, and will occasionally become pets when kept in captivity.
What Do Bearded Foot Spiders Look Like?
The Bearded Foot Spider is a small arachnid, measuring less than half a centimeter long with females being slightly bigger.
They have a sturdy body and 8 long legs that give them an unparalleled talent for acrobatics.
They also have a distinct tuft of hair near their face that gives them an adorable beard-like appearance.
Saitis barbipes have a unique anatomy that is well-equipped for life among bushy foliage.
Their eyes are green and shaped like a horizontal oval, composed of two smaller round eyes on the lateral parts of their face.
Their abdomen is oval-shaped, grayish-black in color with reddish-orange spots, and their cephalothorax is dark brown and flat in appearance.
While the lower part of their legs have some light-colored stripes and their uppermost pair of legs is adorned with striking yellow stripes and white patches.
Benefits Of Using Bearded Foot Spiders
Saitis barbipes are great for many types of vivariums because of their low maintenance needs, active lifestyle, and captivating presence.
Unlike some vivarium occupants, these small spiders spend most of their time in search of food or a potential mate.
They are nocturnal, so they can do the majority of this without disturbing the time of day activities of the other enclosure’s inhabitants.
Not only do they help to create movement in the tank, but they also act as part of the decomposition process by helping to get rid of small dead insects.
These spunky spiders are perfect for both amateur and experienced enthusiasts, making them ideal pets to keep in a terrarium.
Bearded Foot Spider Facts
As a unique member of the jumping spider family, Saitis barbipes stand out for their agile and fast movements, as well as their unusual appearance.
With a natural diet that includes insects and other small spiders, these critters should be kept in an enclosed cage and provided with consistent temperature and humidity levels.
The average lifespan of a Bearded Foot Spider is around a few years, with mating usually happening during the winter months.
Saitis barbipes are an interesting species of spider native to the Mediterranean region, particularly Iran and Turkey, as well as parts of Central and Eastern Europe.
The species is known to inhabit dry, sandy areas, such as desert regions, dry meadows, and rocky slopes.
They are often found spinning their webs under stones, boards, and other objects lying on the ground of these habitats.
Bearded Foot Spiders live in colonies where they multiply in number by reproducing through the process of courtship.
Bearded Foot Spiders feed on a variety of invertebrate prey including invertebrates such as beetles and moths.
It is believed that their primary food source is ground beetles and other small insects living amidst the habitats of the spiders.
They may also be seen hunting for prey near residential houses and buildings, although such incursions are fortunately rare.
In their native habitats, it is more common for them to feed on insects and other invertebrates that are active during the day, such as ants and wasps.
Saitis barbipes are generally shy and gentle creatures, typically avoiding contact with humans whenever possible.
Fortunately, unlike more aggressive spiders, the gentle nature of the Bearded Foot Spider allows them to coexist peacefully with other animals, such as cats and dogs, without any conflicts.
Bearded Foot Spiders are non-venomous and much of their aggression or defensive behavior is limited to displaying their legs and feelers.
This is usually done by releasing strands of the web called “trip wires” which are designed to detect movement.
If these trip wires are triggered, the jumping spider will arch its back and wave its legs in warning but is usually not aggressive beyond that.
Despite their tranquil nature, it is recommended to handle Saitis barbipes with care due to their sensitive nature and vulnerability.
Regular handling should be avoided as it can be extremely distressing for the spider and could even cause stress-induced health issues.
Bearded Foot Spiders have a short lifespan that typically ranges from six months to two years.
Their life cycle is divided into three stages: egg sac, spiderlings, and adult.
The egg sac phase begins when the female adult produces an egg sac, which usually ranges from 50-150 eggs.
The eggs typically hatch after a few weeks, at which point the spiderlings emerge.
After they hatch, the spiderlings search for food on their own and begin to molt into larger forms.
The spiderling phase can last anywhere between four and eight weeks, during which the spiderlings molt several times in order to reach maturity.
The last molting will transform the spiderling into an adult.
During this phase, the adult spiders will continue to hunt for food, mate, make burrows and do the other activities that make them so interesting to watch.
Saitis barbipes are generally a solitary species, meaning they normally live and breed alone.
The courtship between males and females can be quite elaborate, with males often dangling on web lines created by the females.
The female will lay her eggs underneath her webbing, hidden away from potential predators.
Another noteworthy and unusual characteristic related to the mating of the Bearded Foot spider is that the male spiders can mate multiple times with the same female.
So, the female gets an impressive surplus from the male’s abundant sperm storage capabilities and can use some of the stored sperm for her next batch of eggs without having to find a new mate.
Where To Find Beardfooted Spiders
Beardfooted Spiders can be found in all sorts of habitats, from dry grasslands and sandy areas to leaf litter found in forests and wetlands.
They prefer areas of low vegetation and tall grasses and are often found running on the surface of the ground.
Saitis barbipes can also be found in some pet stores, although they can be harder to come by than other species of spiders.
If you choose to find one in the wild, be sure to collect it carefully and keep it in its own environment for the best outcome.
Bearded Foot Spider Care
Caring for Bearded Foot Spiders requires providing them with a suitable cage, the right food, and monitoring their health.
It is important to be aware of their unique social and environmental needs, including making sure they have the right humidity levels, temperature, and enough space to be able to explore and exercise.
With the proper care and attention, these remarkable and agile spiders will bring lots of joy and companionship.
The ideal tank set up for a Saitis barbipes should include a terrarium with the correct pH, hardness, temperature, substrate, and lighting to ensure the health and safety of your pet spider.
The tank should be well-ventilated and properly sized especially when housing multiple Bearded Foot Spiders.
To match their natural habitat and provide comfort for your spider, the pH of the water given should be around 6 and the hardness between 4-7 dH.
Temperature levels should be between 75-80°F (24-27°C) and relative humidity should stay between 50-60%.
The ideal substrate should be a mineral-rich, deep terrarium soil mixture or an all-purpose compost that still allows for air to remain inside the soil.
Terrarium lighting is not necessary but would be ideal for live plants as well as helping regulate day/night intervals. Otherwise, natural window light can provide the necessary exposure for your spider.
What Do Bearded Foot Spiders Eat?
Feeding Saitis barbipes doesn’t need to be a challenge. They are carnivorous, with a preference for smaller insects like moths, beetles, crickets, and earwigs.
For larger spiders, you may also want to offer them mealworms, waxworms, superworms, or butterworts.
It can be beneficial to dust their food with a reptile vitamin powder that is made specifically for spiders.
On rare occasions, you can offer them some fruits or vegetables, but make sure they are soft and mashed.
If your spider is not interested in food after a few hours, remove it and try again the next day.
Always make sure to provide a dish of fresh water and never attempt to feed your spider while they are in their web as they can become stressed or startled and easily bite.
Here’s a list of some things you can feed your Bearded Foot Spider:
- Soft fruits and vegetables (mashed)
If you’re looking for a more detailed approach to feeding these critters, be sure to check out my ultimate DIY jumping spider food guide. I give a more in-depth explanation of the best foods and my favorite recipe.
Best Tankmates For Bearded Foot Spiders
For the best possible care for Saitis barbipes, it is important to consider tank mates.
Unfortunately, it is not recommended to house Bearded Foot Spiders with other animals as they are quite territorial and can become aggressive.
It is best to keep them as the sole inhabitant in an enclosure.
It is also not advisable to house these jumping spiders with other species of spiders because they may fight or eat each other.
However, there are some animals that make good companions to the Bearded Foot Spider.
These invertebrates will provide the Bearded Foot Spider with food and entertainment as they are all preyed upon by the spider, which helps to stimulate their hunting instinct and keep them active.
It is essential to keep in mind that all tank mates should be monitored carefully to ensure Saitis barbipes are not harmed or stressed.
Given the correct conditions, a Bearded Foot Spider can make a wonderful companion whose entertaining behaviors make them a hit with any tank.
With the proper diet and environment, they can become healthy, thriving, and hardy spiders.
When care is taken to ensure the safety and well-being of Saitis barbipes, you can look forward to a life together full of fun and adventure.