How Do Jumping Spiders Communicate?

How Jumping Spiders Communicate

In the world of arachnids, jumping spiders stand out not only for their impressive leaps but also for their intriguing communication methods. These agile and charismatic spiders might not have complex languages like humans, but they have evolved a variety of unique ways to convey information to each other. Jumping spiders use a combination of visual and substrate-borne vibrations to communicate. They devote the most effort to communication when they are courting, with males showing off bright colors and putting on complex dances. 

While male jumping spiders have vibrant coloring and the dance seems to rely on his colors, only two of six image channels in their eyes are sensitive to color, and the other four are sensitive to ultraviolet, green, blue, and red light. The vast majority of life on the planet uses vibrations transmitted through solid objects to communicate, and jumping spiders are no exception. They use vibrations to signal their presence, location, and intentions to other spiders.

What are the different types of communication used by jumping spiders

Jumping spiders use various types of communication to interact with each other. Here are the different types of communication used by jumping spiders:

  1. Visual Communication: Jumping spiders have excellent vision and use visual signals to communicate. During courtship, males display vibrant colors and perform complex dances to attract females. These visual displays help convey information about their presence, location, and intentions.
  2. Substrate-Borne Vibrations: Jumping spiders also use vibrations transmitted through solid objects, known as substrate-borne vibrations, to communicate. They produce vibrations by drumming their legs or body on surfaces, such as leaves or the ground. These vibrations can convey information about their identity, mating status, and territorial boundaries.
  3. Airborne Acoustic Communication: Recent research suggests that jumping spiders may also perceive and respond to airborne sounds. They can detect low-frequency tones and may freeze in response to certain frequencies. However, the extent and purpose of airborne acoustic communication in jumping spiders are still being studied.

It is important to note that the specific communication strategies may vary among different species of jumping spiders. Researchers continue to investigate and uncover more about the fascinating communication methods of these spiders.

Visual Signals

Jumping spiders are visual communicators, using their appearance and body language to convey messages. Their communication repertoire includes:

  • Colorful Displays: Many jumping spiders have vibrant and intricate color patterns on their bodies. These colors can change based on their mood, intentions, or interactions with other spiders.
  • Body Postures: By adjusting their body posture, jumping spiders can communicate dominance, submission, aggression, or interest in mating. For instance, a raised foreleg might signal a challenge, while a lowered posture could indicate submission.
  • Vibrations: Jumping spiders also communicate through subtle vibrations. They create vibrations on surfaces, such as leaves or silk threads, to send messages that other spiders can detect through specialized sensory organs on their legs.

Behaviour and Ecology

Courtship Rituals

Jumping spiders are known for their elaborate courtship displays, which involve a combination of visual signals and movements. The male jumping spider engages in an intricate dance to woo the female. These displays can include:

  • Dances and Movements: The male might perform rhythmic movements, bobbing, and waving to showcase his fitness and intentions.
  • Visual Patterns: In some species, males create patterns using silk threads to attract females. These patterns can range from simple to intricate, serving as a visual advertisement of their suitability as a mate.

Visual Acuity

Jumping spiders possess remarkable vision, thanks to their large, front-facing eyes. These eyes provide them with excellent depth perception and color vision, allowing them to detect subtle movements and changes in their environment.

Agonistic Interactions

Jumping spiders engage in territorial behaviors and sometimes confrontations with other individuals. Their communication during these interactions involves a combination of visual signals and movements to establish dominance and resolve conflicts.

Silk Communication

While not as extensively studied as web-building spiders, some jumping spiders use silk threads for communication:

  • Draglines: Jumping spiders use draglines as safety lines while moving around. These silk threads can also convey information about their presence and location to other spiders.
  • Mating Signaling: In certain cases, jumping spiders leave silk trails that contain pheromones to attract potential mates.

How does jumping spider communication differ between males and females?

Jumping spider communication strategies can differ between males and females. Here are some ways in which they differ:

  1. Courtship Displays: Males of many jumping spider species use elaborate courtship displays that involve complex dances and bright colors to attract females3.Females, on the other hand, may be less conspicuous and rely more on subtle movements and postures to signal their receptivity to mating.
  2. Vibratory Communication: Both male and female jumping spiders use substrate-borne vibrations to communicate, but the specific signals they produce may differ. For example, male jumping spiders may produce more complex and varied vibrations during courtship, while females may produce simpler signals to indicate their presence or location.
  3. Leg-Waving Behavior: Male jumping spiders may also engage in leg-waving behavior, which is more pronounced in males than females. This behavior may serve multiple functions, including communication with potential mates and deception of predators.

Overall, the specific communication strategies used by jumping spiders may depend on factors such as their sex, species, and habitat.


Jumping spiders might not have a spoken language, but their communication methods are a testament to their adaptability and complexity. Through colorful displays, intricate dances, body postures, and even silk threads, these agile arachnids manage to convey a surprising amount of information to one another. Their communication strategies showcase the fascinating ways in which creatures have evolved to interact and connect in the natural world.