Are you thinking of getting a pet Pantropical Jumping Spider? There’s no denying the appeal of this fascinating arachnid.
With their striking iridescent coloration and unusual behavior, Plexippus paykulli is a genus of spiders that stands out from the rest.
In this guide, we’ll explore what makes this pet jumping spider so incredibly interesting, as well as cover the basics of their care and maintenance.
So, loosen your grip on the gardening shovel and start reading!
|Common Name||Pantropical Jumping Spider|
|Scientific Name||Plexippus paykulli|
|Lifespan||1 to 3 Years|
|Adult Size||up to 12mm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||5-10 Gallons|
What Are Pantropical Jumping Spiders?
Pantropical Jumping Spiders are a genus of spiders that belong to the Salticidae family.
They are usually black or dark colored, with vivid markings that come in an array of colors.
These remarkable creatures are known for their ability to jump long distances, hence the name ‘jumping spider.’
These agile predators inhabit a variety of landscapes, ranging from tropical rainforests to grassy meadows, as they are not bound to specific habitats.
Generally, they inhabit most places on continental disharmony, as long as they have plenty of prey to feed on.
Due to their lively movements, they are also an interesting species to observe.
What Do Pantropical Jumping Spiders Look Like?
Plexippus paykulli are moderately sized arachnids, typically 9 to 12mm.
They have an identifiable bright iridescent color, often a light brown with white to orange spots on their back, allowing them to blend in with their environment from a distance.
When looking closely, one can see the long thin legs and the enormous eyes of the Pantropical Jumping Spider.
They possess two distinctive large eyes at the front of the head, with all other eyes positioned around their head in a pattern.
The back of their abdomen is covered by markings and has a wide range of pattern variations, but usually shows a distinct and attractive triangle or hourglass shape.
These spiders possess long legs that help them jump and communicate with one another.
They also have very long hairs on several body parts, which are believed to be used for sensory tasks and detecting movement.
Benefits Of Using Pantropical Jumping Spiders
Pantropical Jumping Spiders make ideal inhabitants for vivariums.
Their size and ease of care make these spiders an attractive alternative to other arachnids, while their relatively gentle behavior makes them remarkably easy to handle.
In addition to providing an interesting display in the enclosure, Plexippus paykulli will naturally help keep down the insect population within the tank.
Pantropical jumpers can also serve as prey in larger terrariums for larger animals such as snakes and birds, providing stimulation for those inhabitants in the process.
Pantropical Jumping Spider Facts
Pantropical Jumping Spiders are a species of arachnid native to tropical regions of the world.
Growing up to 12 millimeters (1.2 cm) in body length, they display bright colors and intricate patterns.
A carnivorous species with a diet consisting mostly of insects, they are non-venomous to humans, mild-tempered, and live for several years.
Breeding is possible, but their eggs must be kept warm and monitored.
Plexippus paykulli originates from the forests of Southeast Asia.
These spiders inhabit tropical and semitropical habitats in the wild.
Their natural habitats consist of forests, savannas, and shrublands, with plenty of vegetation and special hiding spots for protection.
Pantropical Jumping Spiders will often take up residence in homes, parks, and yards in search of food and shelter.
While out hunting, Pantropical Jumpers rely on their keen vision and great jumping skills for successful foraging.
In their natural habitat, Plexippus paykulli mainly feeds on insects such as flies, moths, and other soft-bodied prey.
In order to catch their prey, these spiders use a combination of strong eyesight and lightning-fast reflexes to jump, spin silk, and land on food.
Compared to other spider species, the Pantropical Jumping Spider possesses unequaled agility and is able to cover large distances with a single jump.
Due to their insectivorous diet, Pantropical Jumping Spiders can also feed on nectar, pollen, plant juices, and secondarily, on other spiders.
Pantropical Jumping Spiders are not known to be aggressive around humans or other animals.
As with most spiders, they will only bite if they feel threatened, as this is how they defend themselves.
P. paykulli is generally quite shy around strange environments or animals. In some cases, they may even hide when they sense movement nearby.
They tend to shy away from human contact, so it’s best to leave them alone and observe, rather than trying to pick them up or handle them.
When it comes to other animals, Pantropical Jumpers are usually non-aggressive, but they may be curious or territorial.
It should be noted that a Plexippus paykulli should never be left unsupervised with other animals that may be more aggressive, as this could cause undue stress for the spider.
The lifespans of Pantropical Jumping Spiders can range from two to two and a half years.
The average lifespan for a male is one to two years, while the average lifespan for a female is two-and-a-half years.
These spiders go through a simple life cycle in order to reach adulthood.
After hatching from an egg sac, the young spiderlings go through a few molts (shedding) before achieving a fully mature form.
The spiderlings must also hunt for food during this time in order to build their strength and growth.
Once they’ve reached adulthood, the spiders will become territorial and begin the mating process.
The female will produce an egg sac and can live up to twice as long as the male.
The egg sac will hatch a few weeks later, and the cycle starts anew with a new set of baby spiders.
Mating and reproduction is a complicated process for Pantropical Jumping Spiders.
Females initiate courtship and use visual and sensory cues from males to help decide their mate.
Males produce acoustic and visual signals to attract and court the females.
During courtship, males often climb on females and use their chelicerae and palps to gently massage the female’s carapace.
Plexippus paykulli egg sac is made up of about 20-30 eggs. The sac hangs on a strand of silk.
The female will stay and guard the egg sac until the young emerge from the sac
After hatching, the young spiders remain close to the female for some time, as she provides them with food, protection, and guidance.
The young spiderlings form a cluster called ballooning or kiting in order to disperse over a wider area.
Within the cluster the spiderlings use collective drag to increase the amount of time they remain airborne.
This ensures the young spiders have a greater chance of reaching new habitats and avoiding competition with other spiders.
Where To Find Pantropical Jumping Spiders
Finding Pantropical Jumping Spiders in the wild can prove to be difficult, as they are quite skittish and elusive.
Despite their small size, these spiders like to stay hidden in the nooks and crevices found in thick vegetation, making them hard to spot.
Plexippus paykulli can be found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
Therefore, if you are looking for wild spiders of this species, it is best to head to a tropical or subtropical part of Asia.
In addition to searching for them in the wild, Pantropical Jumpers can also be found for sale online.
Pantropical Jumping Spider Care
To care for Plexippus paykulli, create a habitat with the correct conditions for temperature and humidity.
Feed them the appropriate insects and look for health warning signs such as lethargy or molting problems.
Learn to recognize their natural danger responses and how to interact with them safely.
Breeding your spiders may be possible with the correct preparation and setup.
The ideal tank requirements for Pantropical Jumping spiders vary with the environment found in their natural habitat.
The water offered should have a pH of 6.5-7.5, hardness of around 180ppm.
The tank should also have a consistent temperature of 75-85°F (24-30°C), and suitable terrarium lighting during daylight hours with UVB exposure.
The terrarium should also be kept ventilated and lighting should be provided for 12 – 14 hours daily.
If a part of the tank becomes too dry, add a water source to the container.
What Do Pantropical Jumping Spiders Eat?
Feeding Pantropical Jumping Spiders is an easy job that can be done with minimal effort.
This species feeds primarily on live insects, especially those found in the wild.
However, they’ll also take commercially available types of food, such as fruit flies and small crickets.
Ideally, you should use live prey that hasn’t been treated with chemical insecticides.
Here is a list of food items you can feed Plexippus paykulli:
- Small crickets
- Fruit flies
- Fruit slices
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 Pantropical Jumping Spiders
Pantropical Jumping Spiders make excellent tankmates for other arachnids and invertebrates.
While shy and solitary, they will often share tanks with fellow spiders or invertebrates such as millipedes, crickets, and/or stick insects.
Keeping multiple arthropods in the same tank allows them to feed on the same prey species, reducing the need for separate food dishes for each type.
In addition to other invertebrates, Pantropical Jumping Spiders can make good tankmates in paludariums with certain peaceful fish and frogs.
Fish such as Danios and guppies are great tankmates, as they will help keep the aquatic portion of the tank clean.
If you’re looking for a pet spider that will elicit surprise and awe from both adults and children, the Pantropical Jumping Spider is sure to do the trick.
Just remember to provide your spider with a warm, humid environment, feed them every couple of days, and make sure to give them some extra attention.
With these simple guidelines in mind, you will be well on your way to having an active, healthy Plexippus paykulli.