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Zebra spider (Salticus scenicus)

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These very small jumping spiders are black with white hairs that form stripes. They are often found in or close to houses. Like other jumping spiders, they do not build a web. The spider uses its four pairs of large eyes to locate prey and its jumping ability to pounce and capture it. They have eight eyes but the two at the front are large giving it excellent vision. They use their large front eyes to locate and stalk their prey in a catlike manner. Before jumping, they glue a silk thread to the surface that they are jumping from so that if they miss the target, they can climb up the thread and try again. Female zebra spiders are 5â7 millimetres (0.20â0.28 in) long and males are 5â6 mm (0.20â0.24 in). When these spiders meet, the male carries out a courtship dance involving waving his front legs and moving his abdomen up and down. The better the dance the more likely the female will want to mate. They are common across Europe and North America. Picture taken in Bedford 3rd August 2011.

Added:
4th Aug 2011 by Diane Earl

Subjects:
Biology, Environmental Science, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Geocode: Bedford

Keywords:
spider aracnid

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