The most frequently asked questions about keeping jumping spiders: Here you will find the answers!

Fragen zur Springspinnen-Haltung – und die Antworten
Jumping spiders are fascinating little creatures. With their big, inquisitive eyes and impressive jumps, they can charm even those who normally give spiders a wide berth. If you are thinking about getting a jumping spider or are already the proud owner of one, this article is for you!
 
It has come to our attention that many of you have specific questions about the technique and housing of jumping spiders before you get them. And after they have found their way into your home, questions about behaviour, food intake and activity come up. No wonder, because these spiders are not only extremely pretty, but also very interesting to observe!
 
That’s why we’ve decided to address the most common questions you’ve sent us over the last few months in this article. We hope that we can provide you with a valuable source of information and clear up some uncertainties.
 

In advance, we would like to point out our Jumping spiders -Magazine, which already covers many questions and topics.

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Basic terms and developmental stages in jumping spiders

Question: What does the abbreviation „L” mean in spiders and what role does the number behind it play?

Answer: Spiders have a fixed exoskeleton that restricts their continuous growth. To counteract this, they go through several moulting processes in their lives. The abbreviation „L” in this context stands for “feeding skin” and refers to the process of moulting. The number listed after „L” indicates how often the spider in question has already moulted in its life. Thus, it serves as an indicator of the age and developmental stage of the animal.
An example: A spider with the designation „L5″ has already moulted five times in its life.
Springspinne-Nachwuchs Größe

The photo clearly displays an adult female jumping spider positioned next to a tiny, delicate L1 spiderling.

Springspinne-Größe L1, L2, L3, L4, L5

The photo shows different developmental stages of a jumping spider – from L1 to L5- on graph paper.

Question: What do the terms juvenile, pre-subadult, subadult and adult describe in jumping spiders?

Answer: The terms mentioned refer to different developmental stages of jumping spiders and have their origin in Latin.

  • Adult: This word means “adult”. An adult jumping spider is accordingly sexually mature and has reached its full size.
  • Subadult: This can be translated as “half-grown”. In terraristics, this term denotes a jumping spider that is exactly one moult before reaching sexual maturity.
  • Pre-subadult: This is a stage that is still one moult before the subadult stage. This means that the spider still has to go through two moults before it becomes sexually mature.
  • Juvenile: Translated, this means “youthful”. In jumping spiders, it indicates that the animal has reached an intermediate size but is not yet approaching the later stages of development.
  • Slings: The term “slings” is widely used in terraristics and refers to the youngest, just-hatched spiders, especially in tarantulas and jumping spiders. Thus, when speaking of a “sling”, a baby spider is meant. At this early stage of development, the animals are particularly sensitive and require special attention in terms of husbandry and care. Their tiny body and fine limbs are not yet as robust as older specimens.

With these terms, keepers can better assess the stage of development of their jumping spiders and adjust their care accordingly.

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Moulting and development in jumping spiders

Question: How often does a jumping spider shed its skin in the course of its life?

Answer: The number of moults a jumping spider goes through in its lifetime varies and cannot be determined across the board. Male jumping spiders generally need 1 to 2 moults less for sexual maturity than their female conspecifics. It happens that female jumping spiders of the same species become sexually mature after the 8th moult, while others only reach this stage after the 9th moult. It is therefore important to keep an eye on the stage of development and the individual needs of each spider.

Question: How much time does a jumping spider need to become sexually mature?

Answer: Typically, a jumping spider becomes sexually mature within about a year, but this time frame can be influenced by several factors. Two of the most important factors are the ambient temperature and the food supply. Jumping spiders are cold-blooded organisms. This means they do not have the ability to regulate their body temperature independently, but are dependent on the conditions of their environment. Warmer ambient temperatures boost their metabolism, which can accelerate their development and growth. At the same time, a regular and nutritious food supply can positively influence the spider’s development. It is therefore essential to keep an eye on both temperature and nutrition to ensure the optimal development of the jumping spider.

Springspinne-Häutung
Springspinne-Häutung-2

Question: When should I feed after a moult?

Answer: Moulting is an intensive process for jumping spiders, during which they shed their old exoskeleton and form a new one. In the phase immediately after moulting, their skin is particularly soft and sensitive. Therefore, it is important to give them time to recover and let their new exoskeleton strengthen. A good indication that the spider is ready to feed again can be seen in its behaviour: As soon as the jumping spider emerges from its hiding place and starts actively exploring, this is a sign that it is fit again and can be fed.

Question: How long does the moulting process take in a jumping spider?

Answer: The actual moulting process takes up to one hour. However, the preparation time before and the subsequent recovery phase should not be underestimated – together they can take up to two weeks. The exact period of time depends on the respective developmental phase (L) the spider is in. The decisive factor is the age of the animals: with increasing age, the entire moulting process tends to take longer.

Question: My jumping spider has lost a leg after moulting. What can I do?

Answer: Don’t worry, spiders have the amazing ability to regrow lost limbs after several moults. If kept too dry during moulting, limbs can get stuck in the old skin. Therefore, it is important to pay special attention to humidity of about 70% during the next moult. In the meantime, observe whether your jumping spider can move normally and eats without problems. With the following moults, the leg will regenerate completely.

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Husbandry and housing

Question: Do I really need double ventilation in the terrarium?

Answer: Yes, double ventilation is indeed essential. It prevents the formation of waterlogging in the terrarium, which can be dangerous for jumping spiders. A lack of adequate ventilation can lead to excessive humidity, and this waterlogging can ultimately lead to the death of your jumping spider. It is therefore in the best interest of your animal to ensure that the terrarium is well ventilated.

Question: Why are there mites in my jumping spider terrarium?

Answer: Mites can appear in a jumping spider terrarium for various reasons. One of the main reasons is the lack of “ground police” – these are beneficial springtails and isopods that break down organic material to help maintain the balance in the terrarium. Without these helpers, waste products can accumulate, providing ideal conditions for mites.
In addition, dead food animals that are not removed in time can promote mite growth.
If the terrarium is kept permanently too humid, this also creates a favourable climate for mites.
Another possible reason may be that food tins are stored too close to the jumping spider terrarium. These tins can already harbour mites, which then easily find their way into the terrarium.
To remedy the problem, it is advisable to clean the terrarium thoroughly, remove dead food animals regularly, control the humidity and store food animal tins in another place. In addition, a ground police should be established in the terrarium to promote a natural balance.
Springspinne-Terrarium-Kamineffekt

The chimney effect in the terrarium is the rising of warm air and the drawing in of cooler air from below.

Springspinne-Bodenpolizei

Springtails in terrariums, consume decaying matter and prevent mold growth, ensuring a healthier habitat.

Question: Why shouldn’t I immediately put a jumping spider into a regular terrarium?

Answer: In the L3 stage, jumping spiders are only a few millimetres in size. A conventional terrarium often has cut-outs, for example for cables, as well as ventilation holes and sometimes also small gaps between the glass panes. These places provide ideal escape routes for both the small jumping spiders and their food animals. It is therefore advisable to house the spiders in a special, well-sealed rearing terrarium until they reach their L6 stage, to prevent escape.

Question: I cannot keep the humidity in my jumping spider terrarium constant? What can I do about it?

Answer: The ideal humidity for jumping spiders, both in rearing and in adult age, is about 55 percent. This is not high and is reached quickly.
However, it is important to note that the humidity should be temporarily increased to around 70 percent before and during moulting. After the moulting process is complete, the humidity should drop back to the normal level.
Depending on requirements, a mixture of sphagnum moss and forest humus are suitable as substrates, as they store moisture well. A hygrometer placed in the terrarium allows you to monitor the humidity accurately.
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Nutrition and behaviour

Question: How often should jumping spiders be fed?

Answer: In the first stages of development, more precisely up to stage L5, jumping spiders have a relatively high food requirement. Therefore, we recommend offering them food every 3 days during this period. This ensures that they get all the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. As the spider gets bigger, its metabolism slows down a little. Accordingly, the feeding interval can be adjusted as the spider grows larger. It is then sufficient to feed them only once a week. However, it is always important to observe the behaviour and feeding habits of your own jumping spider to ensure that it is being fed optimally.

Question: Should I feed even if my jumping spider is in the web and hasn’t eaten for days?

Answer: I understand your concern if your jumping spider does not eat for several days and hides in the web. But you should know that sometimes jumping spiders have periods when they are less active or withdraw. This can be for various reasons, such as an impending moult. You should offer food especially when the spider is actively foraging. If your jumping spider hides in the web and makes no effort to come out, then it is better to wait before feeding. Feeding animals can cause more stress for the spider at such times. Continue to monitor your jumping spider and offer food as soon as you notice increased activity.

Question: Why is my spider only sitting in the spider web?

Answer: If your jumping spider stays in its web for a long time, there could be several reasons. First of all, you should check the parameters in the terrarium. These include temperature, humidity and general living conditions. If these are optimal for the spider, you may have fed it too generously in the recent past. A well-fed spider may simply have no drive to actively search for food and therefore remain in its web.
 
It is important to stress that such behaviour does not necessarily mean something negative. Sometimes jumping spiders feel particularly safe in their webs or rest after a sumptuous meal. Continue to observe your spider’s behaviour and try to understand its needs and habits. It is always helpful to check on your spider regularly and adjust its environment accordingly.
 

Question: Why doesn’t my jumping spider eat even though it is thin?

Answer: If your jumping spider is not eating despite its apparent slenderness, this could be due to the food offered. It is crucial that the size of the food is adapted to the current size of your spider. As the jumping spider grows, its food requirements change. Feeders that are too small may be ignored by your spider as they are not considered nutritious enough. Conversely, feeders that are too large may be intimidating to the spider or they may have difficulty overpowering them.
 
It is therefore advisable to check the food supply regularly and ensure that it suits the current size and stage of development of your jumping spider. If the problem persists even after you have adjusted the food size, there may be other factors at play, such as stress or impending moulting.
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Reproduction and lifespan

Question: Is it normal for my jumping spider to build a cocoon even though I haven’t mated it?

Answer: Yes, this is indeed normal. Female jumping spiders have the genetic predisposition to lay eggs and build a cocoon accordingly – even without prior fertilisation. In such cases, the cocoon contains unfertilised eggs. There will only be offspring if fertilisation has taken place beforehand. The unfertilised eggs will die after a few days. As a rule, the jumping spider will reject the cocoon containing no viable eggs on its own.

Question: How long does a jumping spider live?

Answer: The lifespan of jumping spiders is variable and can vary according to sex, although exceptions are not uncommon. While female jumping spiders often live longer, producing 4-5 cocoons in their lifetime, males typically reach their mature moult after 6 months, depending on temperature and food supply. Although many male jumping spiders die within 12 months of breeding, giving them an average age of around 18 months, there are still males that reach an age of up to 2 years, similar to their female conspecifics. Individual differences must therefore be taken into account.

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