Zebra jumping spider

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Zebra jumping spider
Zebra jumping spider (Salticus scenicus) with prey

Zebra jumping spider ( Salticus scenicus ) with prey

Class : Arachnids (arachnida)
Order : Spiders (Araneae)
Subordination : Real spiders (Araneomorphae)
Family : Jumping spiders (Salticidae)
Genre : Salticus
Type : Zebra jumping spider
Scientific name
Salticus scenicus
( Clerck , 1757)
Frontal view of a zebra jumping spider

The zebra spider ( Salticus scenicus ), also Harlequin jumping spider called, is a spider art that the family of the jumping spiders belongs (Salticidae). Because of its conspicuousness and widespread popularity, the zebra jumping spider was voted Spider of the Year 2005 by the Arachnological Society (AraGes) .


The zebra jumping spider owes its name on the one hand to the hopping locomotion and on the other hand to its black and white drawing, which is reminiscent of a zebra . This is caused by light and dark colored dandruff hair. Salticus scenicus can be clearly distinguished from the other Central European species of the genus Salticus . Only it has a pair of white spots on the front body ( prosoma ) and three broad, dark transverse bands on the abdomen ( opisthosoma ). Older zebra jumping spiders are usually darker in color, as the scale hairs rub off over time and the darker basic color emerges.

The irregularly spotted legs of the animals are relatively short compared to other spiders, which makes the zebra jumping spiders appear squat. They reach body lengths of four to seven millimeters, whereby the females are usually larger than the males. The distinguishing feature of the males are the very long, obliquely forward-facing chelicerae .

Another striking feature of the zebra jumping spider are the two large front eyes that are typical of jumping spider species. In addition to these, another pair of eyes is directed forward. There are four other eyes on the sides of the foreleg. Because of this arrangement, the zebra jumping spider can also see backwards. Zebra jumping spiders can see better at close range than is possible with the human eye. In contrast to other spiders, which rely on feeling for vibrations or recognizing movement, jumping spiders also recognize dead insects as food.

Hunting methods and diet

When hunting, the zebra jumping spider slowly approaches an insect and jumps on the prey from a distance of up to five centimeters and kills it with a poison bite. Until the poison takes effect, she holds the insect tight with her strong legs. Before jumping, the zebra jumping spider secures itself with a thread so that it can return to the starting point after a failed jump and not fall.

The jump

To jump, the third and fourth pair of legs are suddenly stretched. As with all weaving spiders, the stretching does not take place through muscle tension, since the legs do not have any extensor muscles, but is based on a sudden increase in hemolymph pressure and thus on a hydraulic principle. The prey animal is grasped with the first two pairs of legs and the landing is slowed down. The jumps over distances of up to about twenty times one's own body length are very precise, which is why jumping spiders are of great interest to bionics when developing techniques with which the precision of hydraulic systems can be improved.


This species is very common in Europe, northern Asia and North America . In the vicinity of humans, the species can often be found on masonry or fences. She prefers sun-exposed, windless areas. The natural habitat of the zebra jumping spider is stony dry grass .


The poison of the zebra jumping spider acts very quickly on insects. For humans, however , the animals are absolutely harmless.


Web links

Commons : Zebra jumping spider  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Zebra jumping spider  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations