Are you looking for an exciting and unique pet to bring into your habitat?
If so, the Fencepost Jumping Spider may be the perfect choice for you!
Native to Europe, this fascinating species of spider is renowned for its intelligence and active personality.
Here, we will provide everything you need to know about caring for Marpissa muscosa, from housing and diet to health care and recommended accessories.
With this guide, you can ensure that your pet jumping spider gets the best care possible!
|Common Name||Fencepost Jumping Spider|
|Scientific Name||Marpissa muscosa|
|Lifespan||1 to 3 Years|
|Adult Size||8-14 mm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||5 Gallons|
What Are Fencepost Jumping Spiders?
Marpissa muscosa belong to the family Salticidae, which makes them a part of the well-known jumping spider species.
These spiders are very small in size, growing just over a centimeter in length, and are typically brown in color with black accents.
Native to Europe, Fencepost Jumping Spiders are incredibly intelligent and agile creatures and make wonderful pets.
What Do Fencepost Jumping Spiders Look Like?
Fencepost Jumping Spiders have a unique appearance, making them easily recognizable to an experienced eye.
Typically, they are about 8mm long, but in some cases, they can reach up to 14mm in length with females typically being larger than males.
The bodies and legs of these spiders are usually gray, although they can range in color from black and gray to brown and yellow.
The eight eyes of Marpissa muscosa are especially notable; two large eyes in the front and six smaller eyes facing towards the sides.
The head of the spider also has two protruding ‘horns’ that run down either side.
These horns are thought to protect the spider and help in sensing the environment.
Finally, the legs of a Fencepost Jumping Spider have tufts of hairs, allowing them to move through thick vegetation with ease.
Benefits Of Using Fencepost Jumping Spiders
Fencepost Jumping Spiders are ideally suited for use in vivariums.
Since they are arboreal, they can easily climb the thick branches in an enclosure, making them an interesting addition to a tree-like set-up.
Additionally, Marpissa muscosa prefers warm, humid environments and can easily survive in this type of environment.
Due to their small size, Fencepost Jumpers won’t disturb other inhabitants, making them a good option for a harmonious communal set-up.
Finally, Fencepost Jumping Spiders have one of the most unique personalities, making them truly fascinating and fun to watch!
Fencepost Jumping Spider Facts
Fencepost Jumping Spiders are a species of jumping spiders commonly found in Europe.
They are active and intelligent creatures, with a relatively long lifespan.
Their diet consists primarily of small insects, but they have also been known to relish spiders, centipedes, and isopods.
These spiders typically mate during the summer and lay their eggs in early fall.
Marpissa muscosa is commonly found in much of Europe, including France, Spain, and parts of Italy, as well as in Western Russia.
It lives primarily in wooded areas near farmlands, ditches, and fence posts, hence its name.
This species of spider is most active in the summer months and can be seen collecting food and building webs during this time.
Fencepost Jumping Spiders often build vertical webs or tube webs along the posts, walls, or pipe-like structures, as well as vertical sheets under a flat rock.
These webs are essential for providing obstacle courses, disguises, and resting places for spiders.
Marpissa muscosa primarily feeds on small insects and spiders when living in the wild.
As their name implies, they are excellent jumpers and rely heavily on their ability to leap onto their prey.
In their natural habitat, they catch and consume a variety of small critters, such as flies, moths, and beetles.
They also capture and eat small spiders, as well as other arthropods like woodlice.
Given the opportunity, they will occasionally eat nectar and other sweet substances, such as honeydew left by aphids.
Fencepost Jumping Spiders generally exhibit a curious temperament around humans and other animals.
They are particularly attentive to movement, and may even jump towards it in a brave show of curiosity.
Despite their intimidating size, M. muscosa is generally quite docile and can be picked up by hand.
These spiders can also be surprisingly social around other animals, at least in comparison to some other species of arachnids.
Additionally, Fencepost Jumpers can coexist peacefully in the same cage, though territorial disputes can occur between males in the same enclosure.
The average lifespan of a Fencepost Jumping Spider is approximately one to three years.
This species of spider typically goes through a life cycle consisting of egg, spiderling, and adult stages.
The egg stage typically lasts for several weeks before the eggs hatch and the spiderlings emerge.
During the spiderling stage, Marpissa muscosa will go through several molts before they reach adulthood.
During this time they will feed mainly on flies and other insects.
Once the spider reaches adulthood, it will reach its full size and become more active.
The adult stage of a Fencepost Jumping Spider is the longest with the arachnid living for anywhere between four to twelve months.
However, it is important to note that providing your Fencepost Jumping Spider with proper diet, environment, and care can prolong its life.
Marpissa muscosa typically mates and reproduces in the spring.
Mating is initiated by a female when it releases a pheromone for male suitors to view and respond to.
During mating season, males will compete for the female’s attention.
Once the male has successfully mated with the female, it will leave her alone until the eggs hatch.
Fencepost Jumping Spinsters usually produce a sac of eggs shortly after mating.
This egg sac is usually protected within the female’s web and guarded by the female until it hatches approximately two to three weeks later.
Upon hatching, the baby jumpers, known as spiderlings, will use their delicate silk draglines to disperse and create their own webs.
Where To Find Fencepost Jumping Spiders
Finding a Fencepost Jumping Spider in the wild can be tricky – they’re quite rare in their native habitats.
However, if you’re willing to dedicate time to looking, there are a few places to try: old wood piles, stone walls, and tall plants.
Commercial pet stores may also be a possibility, but verified breeders and private sellers are more reliable when it comes to finding healthy specimens.
Always acquire your jumping spider from a reputable source, as wild-caught spiders may not be in perfect condition and may suffer from poor health.
Fencepost Jumping Spider Care
Caring for Marpissa muscosa requires providing them with suitable housing space, an appropriate diet tailored to their nutritional needs, regular health checks, and enriching toys and accessories.
With a little bit of knowledge and care, you can ensure your Fencepost Jumping Spider is well taken care of!
For optimal health, a Fencepost Jumper should be housed in an appropriate-sized enclosure with the proper lighting, temperature, humidity, and substrate.
The best type of vivarium for Marpissa muscosa is a closed-top terrarium made of sturdy mesh or glass.
The ideal temperature should be between 65-75°F and the humidity level should be kept around 55-60%.
The pH level of the water should be in the neutrality range of 6.5-7.5, and the water hardness should be in the range of 5-8 dH.
For terrarium substrate, a mix of coconut fiber and peat moss with a low nitrogen-to-phosphorus ratio works best.
Terrarium lighting should be natural, fluorescent, or LED, and full spectrum bulbs should be used to provide your spider with the beneficial light it needs.
What Do Fencepost Jumping Spiders Eat?
Feeding Fencepost Jumping Spiders can be an interesting and rewarding experience.
You can feed your spider live insects such as crickets, mealworms, and other small invertebrates.
You can also offer frozen insects that have been thawed and killed, or even pieces of fruit or vegetable for variety.
Other sources of nutrition can include spiders and cricket eggs or egg-sacs.
When feeding Marpissa muscosa, make sure to give them only what they can eat in one sitting, as these spiders are not able to store leftover food.
Be sure to check their food source prior to offering it. Here’s a list of things you can feed your spider:
- Frozen insects
- Spider and Cricket eggs
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 Fencepost Jumping Spiders
When selecting tankmates for a Marpissa muscosa, you want to make sure you choose species that will not pose any kind of threat or aggression towards them.
Some of the best animals to keep with Fencepost Jumping Spiders are terrarium snails and small millipedes.
These animals share similar levels of activity and intelligence, and so can cohabitate peacefully and even offer companionship to the Fencepost Jumper.
Other animals you may consider pairing with spiders are calm and non-aggressive insect species, such as caterpillars, crickets, and mealworms
Keeping these animals in the same enclosure will help to enrich the environment and meet the needs of M. muscosa.
Providing a combination of different animals within the enclosure will help keep the Jumping Spider stimulated and create a more diverse ecosystem.
It is essential to remember to research each species you add to the enclosure and understand how that species may interact with the Fencepost Jumping Spider.
Congratulations, you are now ready to provide the best care for your Marpissa muscosa!
With proper housing, diet, and enrichment, you can ensure your pet will live a long and active life.
As you continue to learn more about this amazing species, remember to take the necessary precautions and involve an experienced vet or breeder whenever necessary.
With the right care, you and your Fencepost Jumping Spider will create many wonderful memories together!