Anti-caturday post

I used to keep these lovely little guys as pets — they’re so pretty and active, and have such soulful eyes…and so many of them. Their courtship dance is also cool, and so easily evoked; these spiders are always looking for love.

Unfortunately, the species I’ve been able to find in Minnesota are much smaller than the ones I found in Oregon, and the weather greatly limits their availability. If you’re living in warmer climes and haven’t been watching these adorable beasties you’ve been missing out. Especially if you’re keeping cats, instead.

(Also on Sb)


  1. Glen Davidson says

    Now see, that’s commitment. When you never know whether the comely arachnid you’re flirting with wants to mate with you, or just eat you.

    Glen Davidson

  2. marcus says

    Like so many of my courtship experiences. Come closer…, closer…, just a little closer? TOO CLOSE!!11one!1!

  3. littlejohn says

    If you keep both spiders and cats, you will soon have nothing but cats. Apparently, spiders are tasty.

  4. hugemoth says

    Every spring a few of those jumping spiders appear in my house where I let them live undisturbed. They are entertaining to watch and occasionally dispose of the odd insect. There are not many bugs for them to eat in Bend Oregon but somehow they survive until they disappear in the fall.

  5. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    After parasitic plants, salticids are the number two most awesomest organism on earth. When I retire, I’m going to become a salticid systematist.

  6. kingbollock says

    I keep Tarantulas and I adore them. My favourite Spider, though, is the Jumping Spider. The ones we have here in the UK are teeny tiny little things but really fun to watch. We have two kinds, the rarest is the Fence Post Jumping Spider, I have only ever seen one once.

    I think my ultimate pet would be a Jumping Spider from the movie Eight Legged Freaks. They’re about the size of a couple German Shepherd Dogs strapped together. Imagine a Portia that size, all that intelligence in something so deadly!

  7. wcorvi says

    Every summer, I get a wolf spider web on my deck – she has a body about half inch in diameter, and about 2 inch diameter legs. The male is almost invisibly small. He comes down the web, and has to step JUST RIGHT to impress her, evidently. She RUNS at him and he retreats, then tries again. He has an undying need to mate with her, but she has a dying need to eat him. Watching this has taught me a LOT about women.

  8. Francisco Bacopa says

    There are sever species of jumping spider here in East Texas. Their eyesight is very good, but their depth perception might be bad. You can look them in the face from several feet away and they will make little hand signals at you. Not kidding, they recognize the symmetry of your face and try to communicate.

  9. Richard Smith says

    @2:43 – Avoid courting on vertical surfaces; gravity does not work in your favour.

    @3:30 – Maybe you’d have more success if you shaved that unibrow? They’re bad enough when they’re just over two eyes!

  10. The Rat King says

    I see we have a new Elevatorgate.

    That Spider; the Spider that just wouldn’t take a hint, always approaching provocatively, always trying for a grope.

    Is this the kind of television we want to be teaching our kids, that this kind of behaviour is okay?!


  11. Ichthyic says

    btw, jumping spiders have been used in several intelligence tests and complex behavioral studies, and have ended up being rated surprisingly high, even in comparison to more commonly known “intelligent” species:

    they exhibit route selection routines quite similar to mice:

    and apparently even have limited abilities for self recognition!

  12. auntbenjy says

    Yay! Salticidae are cute. I have lots in my laundry, and I even let them steal food away from my carnivorous plants (not many critters get that privilege).

    We don’t get anything quite that big, but they are adorable and fuzzy. Kind of like the pandas of the spider world, but not as stupid.

  13. skmarshall says

    I only watched the first couple of minutes of rejection after rejection, and i’ve never been more thankful Mom ‘n Dad bought me that guitar.

  14. says

    Simply adorable! I used to be an arachnophobe, but it got to the stage it was interfering with my life – an irrational fear. So I did the rational thing and started studying the little guys. Took time, but I eventually overdid the cure and am now totally obsessed by the gorgeous critters. Even wrote a book on spiders to covert the world, put a jumping spider on the cover because they are so incredibly cute.

    Great to see the reference to Portia above. I wrote a whole section about them – amazing, clever little guys and girls. The intellectual giants of the arachnid world.

    All spiders are welcome in my space now, and living in country Australia, that means lots of house guests.

  15. Francisco Bacopa says

    Thanks for the links Ichthyc. I always knew they were smart. They really will look you in the eye and try to figure you out. I wish I had them living in my aquarium stands instead of wolf spiders.

  16. says

    We have a few Platycryptus undatus and Phidippus audax show up on our living room ceiling quite frequently. They make absolutely wonderful photographic subjects. It’s like they love to pose!