Jumping spiders like to JUMP!

They jump away from predators. They jump over gaps as they scuttle around. They jump to grab their prey. 

Check out these beautiful jumping spiders:

Image courtesy of Chaturi Jayatissa.

Good jumping powers mean that these spiders need to see well so that they jump away from bird beaks instead of into them! Jumping spiders have four pairs of eyes mounted on rectangular faces. They have eight eyes in total!

The pair of eyes in the front is large. All these eyes allow jumping spiders near 360-degree vision, meaning they can see all around themselves.

Jumping spiders belong to a family called Salticidae. It is the biggest family of spiders. There are over 6000 species of jumping spiders.

In Sri Lanka, scientists Dilini Bopearachchi and Suresh Benjamin added seven new jumping spider species to this already large group. They collected jumping spiders from habitats across Sri Lanka and sequenced parts of their DNA.

They then analyzed how the spiders are related to each other by constructing phylogenetic trees. A phylogenetic tree is a diagram showing the evolutionary relationships between organisms. The phylogenetic tree they constructed revealed seven new spider species. 

These jumping spiders are very small (3-4 millimeters, or 1/8 of an inch long). Several of them may also be endangered because they are found only in small habitats in cloud forests that are vulnerable to habitat destruction.

Read more about this story on Mongabay.com:


Did you know?