Regal Jumping Spider Care Sheet

Regal Jumping Spider Care Sheet

Regal Jumping Spider Care Sheet

Introduction

Regal Jumping Spiders (Phidippus regius) are captivating and relatively low-maintenance arachnids, popular among hobbyists for their vivid colors, curious nature, and impressive jumping abilities. This care sheet provides detailed information on their habitat, feeding, general care, and specific instructions for caring for gravid (pregnant) spiders to ensure a healthy and thriving spider.

Natural Habitat

Geographical Range: Native to the southeastern United States, particularly Florida, and the West Indies.

Climate: Warm, humid environments with temperatures typically ranging from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C) and humidity levels around 60-80%.

Enclosure Requirements

Size: A small to medium enclosure, around 4x4x7 inches, is sufficient. Jumping spiders appreciate vertical space for climbing and exploring.

Material: Glass or clear plastic enclosures work well. Ensure the lid is secure and has side ventilation holes to prevent escapes while allowing for air circulation.

Substrate: Use a substrate that retains humidity, such as coconut fiber, peat moss, or a mix of both, about 1-2 inches deep.

Decor: Provide plenty of hiding spots and climbing opportunities with bark, branches, and silk plants. A few small hides or cork pieces will help your spider feel secure.

Lighting: Natural lighting is sufficient. If using artificial lighting, ensure it doesn’t overheat the enclosure.

Temperature: Maintain temperatures between 75°F and 85°F (24°C to 29°C). A small heat mat or lamp can help regulate temperature if needed, but avoid direct contact with the spider.

Humidity: Keep humidity levels between 60-80%. Mist the enclosure lightly every few days, ensuring the substrate remains slightly damp but not soggy.

Feeding

Diet: Regal Jumping Spiders are insectivores. Their diet primarily consists of live prey such as:

  • Fruit Flies (Drosophila melanogaster or Drosophila hydei): Ideal for spiderlings and young spiders.
  • Crickets (Acheta domesticus or Gryllus assimilis): Suitable for adult spiders. Choose appropriately sized crickets—no larger than the spider’s body.
  • Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor): Occasionally offered to adults. Mealworms should be gut-loaded and provided in moderation.
  • Waxworms (Galleria mellonella): High in fat, best given as an occasional treat.
  • Other Feeders: Small roaches, moths, and flies can also be provided as variety.

Feeding Schedule: Feed spiderlings every 1-2 days and adults every 3-4 days. Make sure to not overfeed your spider aswell, we have a blog about it aswell if you click this link. Remove any uneaten prey within 24 hours to prevent stress or injury to the spider.

Water: Provide a small, shallow water dish with fresh water. Misting the enclosure lightly will also help meet hydration needs.

Molting

Molting is a crucial part of a spider’s growth. During this time, the spider will become reclusive, stop eating, and construct a silk retreat.

Signs of Molting:

  • Reduced activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dull coloration

Care During Molting:

  • Maintain optimal humidity levels to facilitate a successful molt.
  • Avoid disturbing the spider during this time.
  • Remove any uneaten prey to prevent stress or potential attacks on the molting spider.

Gravid Spiders

Caring for a gravid (pregnant) Regal Jumping Spider requires specific attention to ensure the health of both the mother and her future offspring.

Identification of a Gravid Spider:

  • Increased Abdomen Size: The most noticeable sign is a significantly swollen abdomen.
  • Increased Appetite: Gravid females often eat more to support egg development.
  • Behavioral Changes: The spider may become more reclusive and start constructing a more elaborate silk retreat.

Care and Maintenance:

Enclosure:

  • Space: Ensure the enclosure is spacious enough to accommodate a secure retreat.
  • Substrate and Decor: Provide additional materials such as silk-friendly plants and bark to aid in retreat construction.
  • Humidity and Temperature: Maintain optimal humidity (60-80%) and temperature (75°F to 85°F or 24°C to 29°C) to support the spider's health.

Feeding:

  • Diet: Continue offering a variety of live prey to ensure proper nutrition. Increase feeding frequency if the spider shows an increased appetite.
  • Hydration: Provide a shallow water dish and mist the enclosure lightly to ensure adequate hydration.

Preparing for Egg-Laying:

  • Retreat Construction: The female will build a silk retreat where she will lay her eggs. This retreat should be undisturbed.
  • Observation: Monitor the spider's behavior but avoid excessive handling or disturbances. The female needs a calm environment to feel secure.

Egg-Laying and Post-Laying Care:

  • Egg Sac: Once the egg sac is laid, the female will stay with it, guarding it closely.
  • Temperature and Humidity: Maintain stable temperature and humidity levels to ensure the eggs develop properly.
  • Feeding the Female: Continue feeding the female, but avoid offering large prey that might disturb the egg sac.

Hatching and Spiderling Care:

  • Incubation Period: The eggs will hatch in about 2-3 weeks. During this period, continue providing a calm and stable environment.
  • Spiderling Care: Once the spiderlings emerge, they will remain with the mother for a short period. After this, they will need to be separated into individual enclosures to prevent cannibalism.
  • Feeding Spiderlings: Offer appropriately sized prey, such as fruit flies, to the spiderlings. Feed them every 1-2 days to ensure proper growth.

General Tips:

  • Minimize Stress: Keep the enclosure in a quiet location, away from direct sunlight and excessive noise.
  • Regular Monitoring: Check on the spider daily to ensure the environment remains stable and the spider is healthy.
  • Avoid Overhandling: Handle the spider minimally during this period to reduce stress and the risk of harming the eggs.

Health and Maintenance

General Health:

  • A healthy jumping spider is active, alert, and has a robust appetite.
  • Regularly check for signs of mites, dehydration (wrinkled abdomen), or injury.

Common Issues:

  • Dehydration: Ensure humidity levels are adequate and provide fresh water regularly.
  • Mites: Maintain a clean enclosure and remove leftover food promptly.
  • Injury: Provide a safe environment free from sharp objects or large, aggressive prey.

Handling and Interaction

Jumping spiders can become accustomed to gentle handling over time. Start by allowing the spider to explore your hand within the enclosure. Always handle with care to avoid injury to the spider.

Breeding

Breeding Regal Jumping Spiders can be challenging and requires careful preparation.

Mating Process:

  • Introduce the male to the female’s enclosure, monitoring closely to prevent aggression.
  • Successful mating results in the female laying an egg sac within a few weeks.
  • Remove the male post-mating to avoid potential cannibalism.

Raising Spiderlings:

  • Spiderlings require separate small enclosures to prevent cannibalism.
  • Feed spiderlings appropriately sized prey, such as fruit flies.

Conclusion

Regal Jumping Spiders are fascinating pets that provide endless hours of entertainment with their curious nature and intricate behaviors. By providing a well-maintained habitat, a varied diet, and attentive care, you can ensure your spider remains healthy and thrives in captivity.

References

  • Cushing, P. E. (2009). Jumping Spiders (Salticidae). In Encyclopedia of Entomology (pp. 2119-2122). Springer.
  • Richman, D. B., Cutler, B., & Hill, D. E. (2005). Salticidae: Jumping Spiders. In V. R. Preedy & R. R. Watson (Eds.), Spiders of North America: An Identification Manual (pp. 204-205). American Arachnological Society.

Reading next

The Regal Jumping Spider: A Guide to Its Dietary Needs

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