A Spider with an internal Hydraulic System

Imagine being able to jump 300’ in a single leap. That is what a six feet tall human could jump, if enabled with the ability of the Putnam Jumping Spider. This tiny spider is only about ¼” in length but has the ability to jump over 50 times its body length. That equates to jumping up to 12” for this species, in order to catch prey.

How could such a tiny spider with small legs jump so far? Well, they are equipped with the ability to change the pressure of their body fluid. This allows them to drastically raise this pressure like a hydraulic system within their body and jump very far. So, unlike other insects that need large muscular hind legs in order to jump (such as a grasshopper or cricket), these spiders can pump up the pressure and use their relatively small legs to jump long distances. This is particularly helpful when they are on the hunt for prey. Once a possible source of food is detected, they will examine and stalk the insect. At this point, like a climber, they set an anchor line for safety, then pump up their pressure and jump very quickly and accurately. The drag line serves as a safety line, if they miss and fall, just like a climber would use a life line to protect from a possible misstep. They are successful on most attempts at hunting in this ambush type attack mode. Once the Putnam Jumping Spider has landed on top of the prey, they inject a venom to paralyze it and bring it back to a safe place to have a meal.

There is a reason why they are so accurate at the direction and length of their attack jumps. This is because, unlike many other spiders, they have excellent eyesight. Most spiders have poor vision and have to rely on other senses such as touch or sense of vibration on their webs to catch their prey. However the Putnam Jumping Spider does not spin a web, because they do not hunt this way due to their keen eyesight. Equipped with eight eyes positioned strategically around their heads they are able to have a 360 degree view of all that is around them. All of the eyes have very good focus, with the front large eyes having narrow extreme high definition for pinpointing the jump and attack.

They are also very smart for an insect. This also helps with their survival and accurate attacks. With such a small body of ¼” their brains are tiny. But this small brain is very intelligent. They hunt in a methodical way, not just spinning a web and waiting on a vibration to sense out and trap like many other spiders. Their intricate vision is on the same level as many hunting animals; couple that with smarts to move slowly and track their prey in an ambush style manner makes them very efficient. The Putnam Jumping Spider will not just focus on prey and move in a straight line towards the target. Rather, they have been observed to slowly track the insect, circle the prey and wait for the perfect time and angle to plan the quick and long distance jump attack.

The Putnam Jumping Spider is a resident of Tennessee; however they are not considered a threat. They prefer to live and thrive in outdoor conditions. You could find one that wonders into your home, as they are very curious, but they will quickly find their way back outside. The venom they produce is not dangerous to most humans, although some people do have an allergic reaction if bitten.

Although the Putnam Jumping Spider is not considered dangerous, as with any spider, keep your distance. Any issues you may have can be solved with a call to Certified Pest Control Nashville, TN. Our family is always happy to assist with any pest control issue you may have. Choose local, family owned and operated; you will be happy you did.