Color: Usually black, sometimes brown, tan, or gray, and usually with pale markings.
Shape: Compact with relatively short legs
Size: 1/8 – 3/4 inch
Region: Found throughout U.S.
The common name comes from their jumping ability and habit which they use to capture prey. They are an occasional nuisance pest indoors, and some colored species may cause concern when people mistake them for Black Widow spiders. About 300 species of jumping spiders are found in the United States and Canada.
Jumping spiders do not construct snare webs but do build web retreats which are loosely woven, saclike, composed of several envelopes and usually have two openings. Unlike most spiders, jumping spiders are active during the daytime and seem to like sunshine. They are hunters and have the keenest vision of all spiders, being able to detect and react to movement up to 18″ in distance; however their night vision is very poor. They can rapidly move both sideways and backwards for short distances. As their name implies, they are excellent jumpers.
Retreats may be built under furniture, in drapery folds, between books on bookshelves, in cracks found in wood floors, around door and window molding, etc. Outside retreats may be found under loose bark, between leaves, etc. Indoors, spiders will usually be found hunting around windows and doors because more insects are attracted to these areas and their vision is best in sunlit areas. Outdoors, jumping spiders are commonly seen running over tree bark, under stones and boards, on bushes, fences, decks and the outside of buildings, especially sunny areas.
While they can bite, the jumping spider bite is not poisonous. They are not considered dangerous.