Centennial Museum gecko logo

Desert Diary
Insects and Arachnids/Jumping Spider


This page was designed with CSS, and looks best in a CSS-aware browser—which, unfortunately, yours is not. However, the document should still be readable, though not presented in the most sophisticated manner.

Spiders, spiders everywhere! One group of species that occurs world-wide is the jumping spider. In the Chihuahuan Desert, we don't have the variety you'd find in the tropics, but that doesn't make these little spiders any less interesting. Make no doubt about it‐they can be fast! And they have very good vision, as well. Although they can be fascinating to watch, approach slowly, or you might scare them off. Unlike our other spiders, our Phidippus toro and other jumpers will leap in any direction instead of climbing a strand of silk.

Many spiders go through fancy mating rituals, and the jumping spider is no exception. After all, females can be awfully picky, so the males need to perform just right. But would you believe they'll practice in front of a mirror? Well, maybe not quite, but the males don't seem to realize they're seeing themselves. When faced with their own reflections, these spiders will, indeed, go through their courtship routine. pen and ink It must be rather confusing to have the spider in the mirror courting you!

Listen to the Audio (mp3 format) as recorded by KTEP, Public Radio for the Southwest.


Contributor: Kodi R. Jeffery, formerly of the Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.