Jumping Spider General Care Guide

Welcome to the World of Jumping Spiders! Jumping spiders are a unique and charming family of spiders known for their adorable appearances and playful behavior. If you’re intrigued by these fascinating creatures and thinking of keeping one as a pet, you’re in for an exciting adventure. This guide is here to help you navigate the ins and outs of caring for jumping spiders, with a focus on Australian species.

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
    • The Appeal of Jumping Spiders
    • The Growing Hobby of Keeping Jumpers
  2. Instars
    • Understanding Instars and Developmental Stages
  3. Ideal Beginner Species
    • Recommended Species for First-Time Owners
  4. Lifespan
    • Realistic Lifespan Expectations for Australian Jumping Spiders
  5. Enclosure
    • Creating a Comfortable Home for Your Jumper
    • Orientation and Ventilation Considerations
    • Choosing the Right Size Enclosure
    • Decorations and Furnishings
  6. Settling In
    • Helping Your Jumper Adjust to Its New Environment
  7. Feeding
    • Providing Nutritious Meals for Your Jumping Spider
    • Appropriate Prey and Feeding Schedule
    • Avoiding Wild Insects Due to Pesticide Risks
  8. Misting
    • Maintaining Proper Humidity through Light Misting
  9. Environment
    • Creating a Safe and Stimulating Habitat
  10. Moulting
    • Understanding the Moulting Process
    • Providing a Safe Space for Moulting
  11. Handling
    • Tips for Safe and Limited Handling of Your Spider
  12. Sick Spider
    • Identifying and Addressing Health Issues
  13. Lost Spider
    • What to Do If Your Spider Escapes
  14. Determining Age and Gender
    • How to Estimate the Age of Your Spider
    • Identifying Male and Female Spiders
  15. Female Jumping Spiders and Eggs
    • Recognizing Gravid Females
    • Differentiating Between Infertile and Fertile Eggs
  16. Caring for Spiderlings
    • Housing and Feeding Baby Jumping Spiders
  17. Releasing Spiders
    • Ethical Considerations for Releasing Captive Spiders
  18. Choosing Ethical Breeders and Sellers
    • Ensuring Responsible Sourcing of Jumping Spiders
  19. Packaging and Transporting Spiders
    • Safely Sending and Receiving Jumping Spiders

This guide is your go-to resource for keeping your jumping spider happy and healthy. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced arachnid enthusiast, these tips and insights will help you create a thriving environment for your furry, eight-legged friend. Enjoy the journey into the captivating world of jumping spiders!

Bioactive Enclosures

  • Bioactive setups create a self-sustaining ecosystem.
  • Include live or fake plants; small terrarium plants like Begonia or ferns work well.
  • Key feature: Clean-up crew – springtails, isopods, or millipedes.
  • Crew helps break down waste and organic material, providing essential nutrients.
  • Also aids in controlling mold.
  • Decaying leaf litter serves as food for the clean-up crew.
  • Specialized substrate blend: potting mix, sand, coco fiber, peat moss in specific ratios.
  • Enclosure redecoration is possible in a bioactive setup.


  • Consider keeping some familiar decorations after redecorating.
  • Jumping spiders may need time to readjust to the new environment.


  • Spot-clean every couple of weeks or as needed.
  • Use a damp cotton tip to clean sides and decorations.
  • Do not remove webbing trails or hammocks; they assist in movement.

Settling In

  • Jumping spiders have varying settling-in periods.
  • Signs of settling: Hammock construction and eating prey.
  • If not settled, consider adjusting enclosure conditions.


  • Feed baby crickets or flightless fruit flies.
  • Prey should be smaller than the spider.
  • Be cautious with crickets’ powerful jaws.
  • Avoid feeding wild-caught prey due to disease and pesticide risks.
  • Do not feed daily; consider abdomen size for feeding frequency.
  • Reasons for not eating include prey size, pre-moult, fussiness, enclosure size, age, or hunger strike.
  • Flightless fruit flies and crickets are available from various sources.


  • Use a fine mist spray bottle to maintain humidity.
  • Mist one or two sides of the enclosure every few days.
  • Avoid over-saturation and large droplets.
  • No need for a water bowl; jumping spiders can drown.
  • Damp cotton or paper towels are unnecessary and can harbor bacteria.

Creating the Right Environment

  • Avoid direct sunlight for the enclosure; use indirect sunlight or LED lights.
  • Well-lit space is ideal as jumping spiders rely on sight for hunting.
  • LED lights are safe; avoid night-time light exposure.
  • Heat mats are unnecessary and potentially dangerous.
  • Avoid aerosols, perfumes, and other chemicals near the spider.
  • Wash hands after handling pets with topical treatments to prevent harm.
  • Keep jumping spider enclosure safe from other pets.


  • Jumping spiders moult until maturity; thicker hammock is created.
  • Moulting process is quick, but overall process can take days to a month.
  • Post-moult period is crucial; offer food 24-48 hours after moulting.
  • Moulting frequency decreases with age; juveniles moult more frequently.


  • Handling is optional and more for your enjoyment.
  • Not all jumpers like being handled; individual personality matters.
  • Handle over a large, uncluttered space with a catch-cup nearby.
  • Wash hands and move slowly when handling.
  • Gradually introduce finger, use a brush to coax if needed.
  • Bonding takes time; not all jumpers will be comfortable with handling.

Sick Spider and Lost Spider

  • Sick spider: Place in an ICU enclosure, offer water and food.
  • Lost spider: Thoroughly search enclosure and surrounding areas.
  • Keep an eye on walls and high spots if spider escapes.
  • Lost jumpers can be found even months later.

Determining Spider Age and Sex

  • Breeders can provide age info for captive-born or bred spiders.
  • Wild-caught spider age is harder to determine, usually categorized by growth stage.
  • Sexing: Sub-adult males have swollen pedipalps.
  • Mature males have obviously swollen pedipalps.
  • Sub-adult females resemble mature females but smaller.
  • Mature females have an epigynum (dark belly button) on their underside.

Determining Gravid Female Jumping Spider

Gravid Females:

  • Only mature females can be gravid (carrying eggs).
  • Gravid females will have a noticeably rounded and large abdomen.
  • The abdomen can appear huge if carrying many eggs.
  • Infertile eggs may not be as obvious in appearance.

Infertile vs. Fertile Eggs:

  • Mature females, whether mated or not, can lay eggs.
  • Infertile eggs: From females that have not mated, usually after molting.
  • Fertile eggs: From females that have mated, especially if intentionally paired.

Mating and Eggs:

  • If mated, eggs are likely fertile.
  • Wild-caught females may lay eggs from previous matings.
  • Eggs will be in a neat clump if fertile, often with visible leg development.
  • Eggs hatch into “eggs with legs,” develop, then leave the nest.

Caring for Baby Jumping Spiders:

  • Babies leave the nest by themselves; may be guarded by mother.
  • Be cautious of gaps; cover with breathable fabric to prevent escapes.
  • Provide housing in deli cups with something for them to climb.
  • Use fine mesh or pantyhose for ventilation; avoid water puddles.
  • Feed babies flightless fruit flies or springtails; watch for signs of feeding.

Options if You Don’t Want to Raise Babies:

  1. Release them if native to your area, following ethical guidelines.
  2. Send babies to an experienced hobbyist for raising.
  3. Consider euthanasia if it aligns with your ethics and is done quickly.

Releasing Jumping Spiders:

  • Release only native spiders in appropriate areas.
  • Captive-born/bred spiders should not be released into the wild.
  • Be ethical and responsible with wild-caught spiders.

Captive-Born vs. Captive-Bred:

  • Captive-born: Born in captivity, mother not paired in captivity.
  • Captive-bred: Born and raised in captivity with intentional pairings.

Criteria for Ethical and Reputable Breeders/Sellers:

  • Don’t rehome spiders at very young instars; i4/i5 minimum.
  • Honest about spider’s origin (captive-born, captive-bred, wild-caught).
  • Transparent about spider’s age and sex (except juveniles).
  • Knowledgeable about species, encourages updates and questions.
  • Reflective pricing based on species.
  • Supports feedback and suggestions.

Packaging Jumping Spiders for Postage:

  • Use Express Post and avoid hot weather for postage.
  • Label the box to avoid direct sunlight.
  • Well-fed spiders prior to postage; no need for food during transit.
  • Individual deli cups with ventilation holes.
  • Provide grip material and hydration.
  • Use cushioning material in the box to secure cups.

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