Jumping spider females are generally larger than males. Jumping spiders are among the most ornate of spiders; many species are brightly colored and strikingly patterned, with stout bodies, short legs, and a very large pair of eyes on the front of the face.
½-inch or shorter in length.
Jumping spiders are commonly seen around the home because they are active predators during the day. It will stalk to within a few body lengths of the prey, crouch, crawl slowly forward, and then lift its front legs and pounce. It accomplishes its spectacular jumps by means of muscular contractions in the body that force body fluids into the legs, causing the legs to extend rapidly. Most jumping spiders feed on insects, while others feed primarily on web-building spiders. Jumping spiders can leap 10 to 40 times the length of their body.
Jumping spiders are particularly diverse in tropical regions, but occur in habitats ranging from rain forests to above the timberline on Mount Everest. More than 300 species have been described in the United States. They usually live outside near plant foliage, fences, walls, decks, and patios.
Some jumping spiders may bite to protect themselves if disturbed. While the bite of a larger jumping spider can be painful, only a few species seem to produce any other effects.
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