Regal Jumping Spiders are one of over 6,000 different species of jumping spider.
This species is special due to their friendly personality and popularity as a pet. They are known as friendly, easygoing spiders that enjoy being handled and spending time with their keepers.
These spiders are commonly found in southeastern states like Florida and Georgia. Sometimes it is possible to find them as far west as Texas too! Not only are they common in the wild, they can also be bought for under $10!
Are you thinking about keeping a pet jumping spider?
This article will share exactly what you need to know…
Regal Jumping Spider
The Regal Jumping Spider (Phidippus regius) is a pantropical species which means they are found in tropical regions around the world. They are most commonly found in the southeastern United States, but it is also possible to find them in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles.
They belong to the Salticidae family which houses over 6,000 different types of spiders!
This species in particular is named because of its hunting style and large size. It is considered the largest jumping species in the eastern half of North America. The Regal Jumping Spider on average is 18mm long, second only to the Heavy species (Hyllus Diardi) which can reach lengths of 25mm.
They were also named because of their hunting strategy which involves jumping on their prey. It is possible for them to jump up to 160mm, which is nearly 9x their own body length! This efficient hunting strategy makes capturing even the fastest prey easy.
While spiders are not common pets, the Regal is a perfect species for beginner arachnid keepers. They are known to have pleasant personalities, enjoy being handled and have simple care needs. Their large size makes them easy to handle and some individuals have been known to recognize their keepers.
This spider is found mostly in open woodland and field habitats.
Juvenile spiders prefer to hunt and live in palms, shrubs and palmettoes. Adults on the other hand seem to prefer flat surfaces like the walls of buildings. If you live in states like Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and even Texas, you will likely see this spider in your backyard or climbing the walls of your home.
Because of their native range in southeast North America they are accustomed to high temperatures and high humidity. They will routinely experience temperatures around 86°F and humidity close to 80%.
|Common Name||Regal Jumping Spider|
|Scientific Name||Phidippus regius|
|Range||Southeastern United States and West Indies|
|Size||Female: 7 to 22mm, Male: 6 to 18mm|
|Color||Female: Orange or Grey with dots and stripes, Male: Black with white stripes and spots|
|Lifespan||1 to 3 years|
|Tank Size||6x6x10 inch enclosure|
|Temperature||75 to 82°F|
|Humidity||50 to 60%|
|Price||$10 to $30|
Appearance, Colors & Size
All jumping spiders are known for their adorable appearance. This is mostly due to their large eyes and small bodies. Their large eyes give them a “puppy-dog” look which is enhanced by the hair that covers their body and makes them look fuzzy.
The Regal species has a charming appearance that has captured the heart of arachnid keepers everywhere.
They are known for their large iridescent bluish-green jaws which are called chelicerae. The chelicerae are essentially the spider’s jaws and you can see those bright bluish-green colors right on the front of their face. Their looks are cuter than other popular pet species like tarantulas, which has made them an extremely popular pet.
Male Regal Jumping Spiders are dark in color and are usually black or near black. They also have white stripes and spots on their body.
Females on the other hand are usually gray or orange in color with the same stripes and spots.
The color of these spiders is different between the genders, but both males and females have three dots on the back of their abdomen that look like a smiling face.
Full Grown Size
Regal Jumping Spiders are one of the largest species of Jumping Spiders. Their full grown size actually differs between males and females. Females are much larger and reach lengths of 22mm, while males usually only reach 18mm.
Females are known to be thicker and can even get chunky when properly fed or pregnant. Males are much slimmer with thicker forelegs.
How To Sex A Regal Jumping Spider
Jumping spiders are sexually dimorphic which means there are noticeable differences between males and females. This isn’t a species like bearded dragons where you have to look closely to tell the differences between the sexes. You can easily tell the difference between males and females just by looking.
The strikingly different coloration between male and female Regal Jumping spiders is the easiest way to tell them apart. The color differences are so drastic that there is almost no mistaking the two sexes.
Females come in two different color patterns, gray and orange. The gray females are mostly gray with black bands and spots on their legs and abdomen. The orange females have orange on their head and abdomen, with brown legs and a pattern of stripes and spots.
Males are almost always entirely black with white stripes and spots.
Females are also much larger than males. They usually range between 7 and 22mm versus 6 and 18mm for males. Females are not only larger than males, but they are also thicker. They will often look “chunky” when compared with males who are usually thinner with larger forelegs.
The Regal Jumping species is a perfect spider for those that are new to keeping arachnids. They require relatively simple care to live happily as pets. They are also inexpensive to buy and cheap to care for.
Whether this is your first spider or you are an experienced keeper the Phidippus Regius is a great choice.
Jumping spider enclosures can be relatively small. Adults don’t need a large space and the ideal enclosure should be around one gallon in size. This is approximately 6 x 6 x 10 inches. A 1-gallon enclosure will give them enough space to move and exercise without being so big that they have trouble finding food.
An enclosure should have a vertical orientation with the largest side being the height. This means the tank should have a height of at least 10 inches tall.
These spiders love to climb and will utilize any and all vertical space you give them!
Their love of climbing also means they will need plenty of branches, leaves, rocks, twigs and other décor in their enclosure.
The enclosure can be made of glass, plastic, wood or really any material that you may have on hand. Just make sure that whatever material you use, you provide proper airflow and ventilation. There should be some small airholes that your spider can’t escape out of.
Their substrate should be something that holds humidity well so something like coconut fiber is a good choice. It can be placed on the floor of their enclosure and should be around two inches deep. Proper ventilation is also important so that mold doesn’t grow in the substrate.
These spiders love light and they will need at least five hours of light from an LED bulb.
Regals like warm and humid conditions in their enclosure. The ideal temperature for their enclosure is between 75 and 82°F. In southeast North America this is usually around room temperature so additional heating is not necessary unless you live somewhere cold.
Under tank heaters are not a good choice for spiders, though a space heater can be used for colder climates. Place a space heater in the same room as their tank and use it to maintain a room temperature close to 82°F.
Do not put their enclosure near direct sunlight as tank temperatures can quickly become dangerously high, especially if it is made from plastic or glass.
The humidity in your jumping spider’s enclosure should stay between 50 and 60%. This can be maintained by spraying a fine mist of water in the enclosure up to two times per day. A small water bowl can also be placed in their enclosure to raise humidity.
Feeding a Regal Jumping Spider should be relatively simple. These spiders are carnivores and prey entirely on insects.
SIMILAR: Leopard Gecko Diet & Feeder Insects
Juveniles are very small and usually will need to be fed pinhead crickets or flightless fruit flies. As they grow they need to move on to bigger prey as these smaller insects will not provide enough nutrients for adults.
Feeding adults is usually a little easier than spiderlings simply due to their size. Adult spiders can be fed larger insects like crickets or mealworms as their primary food source. The only rule is to make sure that the insect is shorter than the length of the spider’s body.
A Regal Jumping Spider should be fed as much food as possible three times per week.
During mealtime keep offering them prey until they become full and refuse to eat any more. These spiders will continue to eat until they are full. The amount your spider will eat can vary greatly depending on its species and age. For adults it normally ranges anywhere between 1 and 3 crickets or mealworms per feeding. Any uneaten food should be removed from their enclosure.
|Under 2 months||Pinhead crickets or flightless fruit flies|
|2+ months||Crickets or mealworms|
Jumping Spiders are a hardy species that rarely have health issues or problems. If they are cared for properly, have a good enclosure setup, and are fed regularly they usually live for between 1 and 3 years.
Diet makes up a big part of their overall health. If your pet jumping spider has a healthy appetite and is frequently eating mealworms and crickets then this is a good sign that they are likely healthy.
The main health issue that these spiders face is dehydration due to low humidity. Your spider may be dehydrated if its abdomen looks shriveled like a Rasin, instead of firm and round. Dehydrated spiders also may have trouble shedding their exoskeleton and can even lose limbs during a shed.
Humidity in their enclosure should stay between 50 and 60%. If humidity is kept under 50% for long periods of time your spider can easily become dehydrated. Misting their enclosure twice daily will help keep it humid and prevent dehydration.
Because they love to climb this species can also injure themselves by falling from tall places in their enclosure. Avoiding this risk altogether is not really possible. Instead you should ensure that their substrate is soft and moist so that when they do fall, they will not hurt themselves.
In the wild these spiders are active hunters who frequently patrol their environment in search of small insects to eat. They get the name “jumping spider” because they will attack their prey by jumping on it. Even pet Regal Jumping Spiders love to jump and will be very active in their enclosure.
As pets they should be happy exploring their enclosure throughout the day.
They love the sunlight and will be out and about climbing and building nests during the day. If they are feeling scared, shy or uncomfortable they will often hide in leaves or branches.
When not hunting in the wild these spiders build nests out of spider silk to sleep in. You will likely see them building these nests within their enclosure.
This species is friendly and some individuals have been known to recognize their keepers and enjoy being handled. However that doesn’t mean that they won’t bite. A Regal Jumping Spider that feels threatened will first try to escape, but if that proves impossible they can resort to biting.
Most of the time a regal jumping spider bite won’t even break the skin! If it does happen to puncture your skin then their venom is not medically significant for humans. You will likely only experience some pain and maybe mild swelling. These symptoms can be worse if you are allergic, but they are not life threatening like some snake venom.
If you are handling a new spider then it is best to use gloves until you both are more comfortable.
Best Pet Jumping Spiders
There are over 6,000 species of Jumping Spider so deciding which species is the best will take some time! Some of these species are more common as pets, but the most popular by far is the Regal Jumping Spider.
The Regal Jumping spider is well known for being a large, friendly species that does well in captivity. They are also cheap to buy and easy to care for. You can even find them in your backyard if you live in the southeastern states of North America!
|Regal (Phidippus regius)||Friendly personality, easy and simple care. Unique, adorable appearance and large body size. Easy to find in the pet trade and in the wild.||Not found in the north or far west regions of North America.|
|Bold (Phidippus Audax)||Extroverted personality. Easy to find throughout North America.||Small body size makes them difficult to handle.|
|Tan (Platycryptus Undatus)||Adorable furry bodies.||More likely to bite and are known to defend themselves if threatened.|
|Zebra (Salticus scenicus)||Very beautiful body pattern that looks like a Zebra.||More difficult to handle because of their small body size.|
|Elegant Golden (Chrysilla lauta)||Extremely unique species with a beautiful color.||Rare species that is not common in the pet trade. Solely a rainforest species.|
|Shiny (Cosmophasis Umbratica)||Unique metallic appearance that reflects UV light.||Native to India and Sumatra so they are harder to buy.|
|Heavy Jumper (Hyllus Diardi)||The largest species which are named for their heavy jumps. Cute hairy body.||Found only in Thailand, Singapore, Madagascar and Africa.|
|White-Moustached (Portia Labiata)||Unique white hair on their jaws that makes them look like they have a moustache.||Found only in Asian countries which makes them rare and harder to buy.|
In general these spiders are gentle and curious which is what makes them great pets.
Where To Find A Regal Jumping Spider
If you want to keep this spider as a pet you won’t have much trouble finding one. They are extremely common in eastern states like Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas, though they are most frequently found in Florida. This is why they are also called Florida Regal Spiders.
They have a natural range from the southeastern United States to the West Indies.
If you want to find a wild specimens your best bet will be in the southeastern states in North America. If you live in these states finding one is as easy as checking your backyard.
For those who live on the northwestern side of North America finding a wild species will be hard.
In this case you may have to resort to buying one from a breeder. Thankfully these spiders are usually cheap and you can purchase a spiderling for as little as $10. Adults usually cost a bit more and can go for up to $30.
Regal Jumping Spiders are great pets for anyone that is new to keeping spiders. They are cheap, friendly and easily handled. Their enclosure setup is usually simple and you can expect to spend very little money on their care and diet.
With the right care these spiders are a healthy species that will live between 1 and 3 years.
Make sure your spider is properly fed insects, watch out for dehydration and ensure that their humidity is between 50 and 60%. With this care your pet spider should be happy and healthy in their enclosure.
While not everyone likes spiders it is pretty hard not to find the Regal Jumping spider absolutely adorable. Their large eyes and fuzzy hair gives them a charming appearance!
If you live in states like Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas then it is common to find them in your backyard. If you live on the northwestern side of North America then you will need to buy one from a breeder for between $10 and $30.
Have you seen any jumping spiders in your backyard?
Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Found this sweet little girl on my mailbox yesterday! I’m in NC and this is the first one I’ve seen on my property. I really want one as a pet now.