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Zebra Jumping Spider (Salticus scenicus)

Salticus scenicus is known for two things, its jumping abilities and its striking zebra color scheme.

It’s a great companion if you want a pet jumping spider that is fun to observe and handle.

In this Zebra Jumping Spider care guide, you will learn about all the essential information required for looking after these incredible little spiders.

Characteristics:
Common Name Zebra Jumping Spider
Family Name Salticidae
Scientific Name Salticus scenicus
Use Pets
Temperament Non-aggressive
Lifespan 2 to 3 Years
Diet Insectivore
Adult Size up to 1 cm
Breeding Type Egg Layer
Care Level Easy
Minimum Tank Size 1 Gallon
pH 6.5-7.5
Hardness Moderate
Temperature 68 - 82°F

What Are Zebra Jumping Spiders?

Salticus scenicus is a species of arachnid belonging to the family Salticidae and commonly referred to as Zebra Jumping Spiders or Zebra Jumpers.

These small spiders usually have a light brown background with stripes of black and white.

Their scientific name, Salticus scenicus, comes from Latin and literally translates as ‘of the scene’ referring to their habit of hunting prey in wide open areas.

What Do Zebra Jumping Spiders Look Like?

The Zebra Jumping Spider is a species of jumping spider that is characterized by its coloration and patterns.

The average size of an adult Zebra Jumping Spider is about 5-7 mm in length and about 8-10 mm for a female spider.

It has a rounded cephalothorax area, which is covered in short hairs and tufts of white, black, and grey.

The abdomen has a pattern of white, black, and grey that looks like distinct stripes.

It has 8 eyes that are normally dark in color.

It also has two front claws called chelicerae that they use to kill their prey.

The legs are distinctively banded, long, and slender which enables them to jump long distances.

Salticus scenicus is primarily found in Europe and North America and prefers to live in warm, dry, and sunny habitats.

Benefits Of Using Zebra Jumping Spiders

Salticus scenicus is an incredibly unique and fascinating pet that is perfect for vivariums.

These spiders are interesting to watch since they are constantly on the move and can jump surprisingly high.

Zebra Jumpers are known for their leaping and hunting abilities, and they are incredibly agile.

Finally, because these spiders are small, they require minimal care and maintenance, making them a great choice for beginner owners.

Zebra Jumping Spiders: A Salticus scenicus Care Guide!

Zebra Jumping Spider Facts

Salticus scenicus is a small spider, typically 6 mm long with females growing slightly larger.

They have a unique jumping ability and are known for their striped patterns and black-and-white coloring.

They prefer warm and humid environments, with a diet based on small prey such as ants, flies, and other small bugs.

The natural lifespan of a Zebra Jumping Spider ranges from a few years, and its breeding season occurs during the summertime.

Habitat

The Zebra Jumping Spider is native to temperate regions in Northern Europe and North America.

In the wild, they can be seen quite frequently on coarse vegetation, rocks, and the bark of trees.

Although they are not a water species, they prefer to live in areas where vegetation is abundant and the climate is humid.

These spiders also inhabit gardens, lawns, and meadows across Europe and various parts of Asia. 

Diet

In their natural habitat, Zebra Jumping Spiders primarily feed on insects, such as flies, moths, and beetles.

They also feed on some smaller spiders and other arthropods.

These spiders hunt through their eyesight, looking for small prey to ambush.

They hunt both day and night, depending on their environment and the availability of prey.

The spider prefers to hunt prey that is relatively large for its size, so it tends to avoid smaller food such as ants and larvae eggs if the alternative is available.

The most preferred food sources are just slightly larger than the size of the spider itself.

In some cases, the spiders also use their webs to capture food.

Zebra Jumping Spiders can also take advantage of other sources of food such as dead bugs, honeydew, and sap flux.

Temperament

The Zebra Jumper is known to be quite skittish around humans.

However, they can become accustomed to handling it if given enough time.

Always handle these spiders with a gentle touch, taking care not to startle them by approaching too quickly.

Additionally, Salticus scenicus are quite territorial and can be aggressive toward other spiders if kept together in an enclosure.

In an outdoor environment, Zebra Jumping Spiders are generally considered beneficial due to their habitat and lifestyle.

They are predators that help to keep pests, such as flies and other insects, under control.

Lifespan

The typical lifespan of the Zebra Jumping Spider is up to three years, depending on the care it receives and the environment you provide.

They go through four distinct stages in their life cycle, starting as eggs and ending as adult spiders.

At the egg stage, Salticus scenicus are small and white and are deposited into a brood of up to 35 eggs.

Once hatched, these little spiders become larvae and as they grow larger and stronger, they molt multiple times until becoming an adult.

At this point, they begin to darken in color and begin developing spots and stripes.

Adult Zebra Jumping Spiders reach maturity within 4 to 9 months and are quite active during the day.

Due to their uncanny ability to be still and blend into their surrounding environment, they are often mistaken for pebbles.

Breeding

When it comes to mating and reproduction, the Zebra Jumping Spider has a unique process.

After males become mature, they molt once more and become able to mate.

During mating season, which occurs every autumn, males compete for females, often showcasing their reflexes to impress them.

After mating, the female is able to lay up to 30 eggs in a web-like cocoon which she will guard for several weeks at a time.

In this period, she will also take care of her eggs and prepare to become a mother.

When the spiderlings emerge from the cocoon, they are equipped with enough nutrients to last them for weeks.

During this period, the little spiderlings remain in the web and eat the remains of their egg sack.

After a few weeks, they can begin to hunt and explore the world.

The female will stay with the spiderlings until they become mature, protecting them and teaching them the skills they will need later in life.

Where To Find Zebra Jumping Spiders

Jumping Spiders can be found in many places in the wild, usually near gardens and houses.

They are typically found in warm climates, so if you live in a warmer climate it may be possible to find wild jumping spiders.

If you would rather purchase one, it can often be found in forums and online pet stores.

They are typically available in kits that come with the spider and other essential supplies, such as a cage and food.

Before purchasing a jumping spider, it’s vital to make sure it is a certified, healthy specimen.

Zebra Jumping Spider Care

Zebra Jumping Spiders require the right environment, nutrition, and certain supplies.

A habitat should be provided that offers a high level of humidity and protection from light.

Natural prey, or commercial dry food products are the main sources of nutrition for the spider.

Handle with care and regularly monitor the Salticus scenicus for any signs of illness.

Tank Requirements

Zebra Jumping Spiders are best kept in a large, well-ventilated tank such as a paludarium or terrarium with good air circulation.

A 10-gallon capacity tank is more than enough to house a single jumping spider.

The ideal temperature range is between 68 and 82° F with a humidity range between 50-60%.

A water pH level between 6.5 and 7.5, as well as a water hardness of between 4-8dGH is suitable.

As for terrarium substrate, a combination of coconut fiber and peat moss works well and is also easy to clean.

To maintain a healthy level of humidity, a few pieces of driftwood or a terrarium plant or two would work.

In terms of terrarium lighting, Salticus scenicus require bright but indirect light, such as natural sunlight.

UV bulbs can be used, but do not need to be present.

What Do Zebra Jumping Spiders Eat?

When it comes to feeding Salticus scenicus, you should provide them with a variety of food sources.

You can offer them small insects such as fruit flies and small crickets.

You can buy commercial food specifically made for spiders or you can offer them small pieces of fruits and vegetables.

All of these food sources contain the necessary nutrients to keep your spider happy.

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.

What Do Jumping Spiders Eat? | Jumping Spider Food Guide!

Best Tankmates For Zebra Jumping Spiders

Finding suitable tankmates for the Zebra Jumpers can be the key to keeping them active and entertained.

There are a few animals that have similar beneficial qualities that can make great tank mates.

They pair nicely with certain species of millipedes.

Small millipedes are a great source of food for spiders and are relatively non-aggressive when it comes to interaction.

Another good tankmate would be small species of crickets, which can also provide a good food source for the spiders.

Additionally, these bugs can be beneficial in keeping the enclosure clean.

However, it is essential to note that these tankmates should not be too large in size as the spiders may end up becoming an easy meal.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Zebra Jumping Spider is an exciting and fun pet to keep.

It requires a specialized environment in order to remain healthy and active.

With the right setup and care, these fascinating arachnids can bring entertainment and companionship into your home.

With the information in this Salticus scenicus care guide, you can be sure your spider is well taken care of!

Frequently Asked Questions

Adult zebra jumping spiders typically range in size from 5 to 10 millimeters (up to 1 cm) in body length. The females tend to be slightly larger than the males.

The cost of a zebra jumping spider can vary depending on several factors such as location, availability, and the specific market or seller. 

However, the cost typically ranges from $20 to $50 USD.

No, Zebra jumping spiders are not harmful to humans.

They are harmless and beneficial, as they are known to eat other insects and other arthropods.

Zebra jumping spiders, Salticus scenicus, are not considered rare. They are a common and widely distributed species found in various habitats.

 

Yes, zebra jumping spiders are good pets. They are easy to care for and docile, and they like to hunt and explore their environments.

They require a habitat with suitable ventilation, and their diet should consist of small insects like fruit flies or crickets.

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