In this article I will try to cover main mistakes new keepers make and will advise on checklist to go through to make sure you are all set. I will also provide optimal setup and care for your spider.
General facts about Phidippus Jumping spiders:
- Phidippus regius is largest species of a Jumping spider in North America.
- Adult spider size range from 6 to 22mm, generally females will be larger but it is not a rule.
- Males will always have black and white colouration with green/blue “fangs”.
- Females colouration will vary greatly from black and white to brown and bright oranges, depends on locale but some of locales can have different coloured females in same clutch.
Starter setup check list
To set up Phidippus regius spiderling you will want to go as simple as possible to begin with. While it is tempting to have large enclosure with a lot of decorations and bioactive substrate, it will pay off in a long run to have simple enclosure until Jumping Spider is larger.
1. Simple enclosure will be a plastic cup turned upside down (by keeping lid on the bottom of enclosure you will allow yourself to open it when needed without breaking spider web). Keep in mind the spider will very likely create its web sack on highest spot in the enclosure. Another good option is to use plastic smoothie cup with domed lid, just cover hole on the top of the lid with mesh. Enclosure is a very important aspect of jumping spider care.
2. Proper cross-ventilation can be achieved by poking small holes on perimeter of enclosure or cut out holes on opposite sides of enclosure and cover them with fine mesh.
3. Decorate enclosure with couple fake leaves glued to side of tub, remember to keep it simple so you are able to find spider when needed. Jumping spiders don’t require hiding place as much as most arachnids and will often make their web-sacks in the middle of open space.
4. Humidity/water can be achieved by light mist on the side of enclosure. You want to have small water drops to remain on enclosure walls for spider to drink from. Please make sure drops are not larger than about quarter of the size of your first jumping spider. Surface tension of water can be deadly for spiderlings. If your ventilation is correct, water drops will remain on side of enclosure for rest of the day, but evaporate next day.
5. Feeding your Jumping spider is one of the best parts of keeping one!
Offer food to a spider every couple of days. Do not feed if spider closed itself in thick web sack as it is most likely getting ready to moult. Chances are you will have to start with fruit flies (for spider size up to L6), but make sure to switch to a larger prey once spider is large enough. Good rule of thumb is – if spider attempting to catch second fly while first is still in the mouth, it is time to offer something bigger.
At some point of a spider development it will stop seeing fruit flies as food source and will not attempt feeding on them even if it will staving, so make sure you switch to bigger prey as soon as possible. Appropriate size of prey for Phidippus regius jumping spider will be ¾ to 1.5 of the size of a spider. Just keep an eye on it if offering something large. See more about different prey items in Care sheet.
6. Correct lighting is one of the most important aspects of jumping spider care. They love it BRIGHT. It is very important to provide plenty of light during the day for your spider. Without correct lighting spider will go off food. Therefore it will spend most of the time in its sack waiting for conditions to change for better. I recommend setting up LED light just over spider enclosure with 12h on/off schedule. However you can just set enclosure in bright part of the room.
1. Too high humidity – Phidippus spiders like it dry, but need access to drinking water
2. Prey left inside enclosure. NEVER (unless you have A LOT of experience with Jumping spiders) leave any live prey inside spider enclosure. While there are few insects harmless to a spider, there is still a chance spider will be stressed enough to go through a bad moult due to buzzing flies, crickets and roaches left in enclosure.
3. Setting enclosure on heat mat or by the window. Try not to overheat jumping spider, heat mats do not provide steady temperatures, even with thermostat and bright sunlight can easily raise temperature of enclosure to over 40C. Jumping spiders prefer temperatures between 26C and 32C, but can do well in 21C-25C. It is better therefore to keep it low than risk overheating.
4. Checking on a spider while it is in premoult. It can be stressful if your spider is hiding in web sack for week or two, but please be patient. Do not try to poke it to see if it is alive. Just get more Jumping spiders if you want to maximise your odds to have at least one available to play at a time
Don’t forget to check out other articles in Jumping spider care sheet section of this website!