© Stuart M Bennett 2001
Salticus scenicus
(Jumping Spider)

The jumping spiders comprise the largest family of spiders with about 4000 species having been described. The behaviour of all of them is strongly influenced by their acute vision. Their curiosity is almost greater than their fear. With their eight eyes they are able to focus on anything around them, including to the rear, and have the greatest acuity of any arthropod especially where the anterior median eyes are concerned. This type of spider stalk their prey by creeping ever closer until they are a few centimeters away, then they jump, grabbing their prey with their fore-legs. This type of spider can jump from a standing start, unlike most others which need a run, and they can also jump backwards and sideways with equal dexterity to avoid capture.

There are four species which live in Britain, two of which are rare, the most common of which is pictured above.

I am not going to describe the obvious...just look at the picture....This spider is found mainly in houses and gardens, but also on rocks and stones and occasionally on trees. It is mainly active in early to late summer and is abundant in the Northern Hemisphere. The male is similar to the female but with enlarged chelicerae.

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