Many people are afraid of spiders, it’s called arachnophobia. However, the species I’m going to present you now has nothing to worry about, and you’re probably even going to love it! This is the Phidippus regius.
Unlike the spiders that we are used to see, the Phidippus regius belongs to the salticidae family, also called jumping spiders. These ones use their sight and, as the name suggests, jump to catch their prey.
Far from being the size of a tarantula, they can still measure up to 18mm (0,7”) for the males and 22mm (0,86”) for the females. They will live between 2 to 3 years and the females won’t particularly live longer than the males.
It’s quite easy to determine their sex, and this even from a very early age, in fact:
- The male will always be black and white, and its chelicerae (mouthparts) will be green.
- As for the female, it can be several colors and its chelicerae will often be pinkish.
Caring for Phidippus regius
Required equipment :
A terrarium per spider: you could use any box as long as there is aeration, but I recommend the dimensions to be minimum 20x20x20cm (7 7/8”) so it has enough space to live. I also personally advise to chose a terrarium that can be opened from the side. In fact, the Phidippus regius will spin its own small cocoon in which it will spend a lot of time, and that would be a shame to break its home every day, don’t you think?
A lot of decors: this spider won’t hunt with its web, but will rather jump on its preys, so why not give it a stimulating hunting ground and a maximum of space to stroll in?
Live prey: the Phidippus regius is a predator so it will need live prey. You’ll learn more about this later in the article.
The Phidippus regius isn’t going to stay still on its web all day, it’s going to walk, explore and hunt actively. And we know that the more energy is being consumed, the more you’re hungry.
Unlike many predators that only eat once a week or even less, this spider eats quite often: every 2-3 days.
What can you give it?
First of all, it prefers animals that move a lot, so mealworms and others will probably not be interesting.
The ideal would be crickets, flies, cockroaches, etc…
Let’s point out that this spider is very voracious and won’t hesitate to take on big prey. Try to find ones that are the same size, or a bit smaller. If it’s really hungry, it can even attack a prey that is twice its size!
A cup of water is not needed, but you’ll have to provide some occasional humidity to your Phidippus regius.
Personally, I spray every 2-3 days, not too much, just to avoid that its environment becomes dry and that it can drink in the droplets if it’s thirsty.
Unlike many animals that we commonly keep, the Phidippus regius is used to a more temperate climate, since they’re from North America.
They won’t like temperatures that are too low, and won’t stand too high temperatures neither.
As a spider’s doctor, I recommend 22-25°C (71,6-77°F). It’s even possible to expand the interval up to 20-28°C (68-82,4°F) but you shouldn’t go beyond these limits.
If it’s warm where you are, you can let them at room temperature. Now if you live at the North Pole and it’s less than 20°C (the very idea of it sends shivers down my spine) then a little heat mat underneath or on the side will do no harm. Don’t forget that heating mat also means thermostat.
Another advantage regarding this species is that the reproduction is very simple.
First things first: make sure that the two individuals are adults, if not, it won’t work!
Next, feed both the male and the female well so that they don’t feel like eating each other, which would obviously compromise the reproduction.
Then you can put the male in the female’s terrarium, and at that point you’ll see that it will dance, it’s time for the courtship ritual. This phenomenon can last a few minutes or several hours, so sit down and have some pop-corn, it’s very nice to watch.
Once the mating is over, separate them again.
2-3 weeks later, the female will retreat inside its web to make its cocoon. And 2-3 more weeks later, the first babies will be born. However, the newborns will stay in the cocoon for the whole period of the first stage and will only come out after.
You’ll get between 50-100 babies per cocoon, you can keep them together during the first stages while feeding them with fruit flies, and you’ll separate them as soon as they get a little bigger.
If this article helped you understand and keep these little animals better, don’t hesitate to follow me on this blog and on social media so that you don’t miss any of my articles. If you have a question, please ask me in the comments. See you next week for a new article!
I want to thank Maria Krecina @tuta2pets who sold me a couple of Phidippus regius during the Eastern Invert Show. If you want to find out more about this click here. It was thanks to her that I could gather all this information for you and some pictures as well.
And finally, I’ll let you take a look at Lucas the Spider. That’s how this species went viral and became known by many people (including me).