Keeping up with your Jumper - Your New Arrival
Enough people have requested detailed step-by-step instructions about care for their spiders that we at BigFATPhids (BFP) thought it was time to start a care sheet. Since an all-encompassing care sheet can take a long time to put together, and we wanted to provide information as soon as it is written, a blog seemed like the best option. And so, “Keeping up with your Jumper” was born.
The intent of this is to create detailed instructions about how to care for your spider. However, the first step is actually figuring out which spider will fit your needs. Do you live in a humid environment? If so, maybe regal or otiosus will be best for you. Dry and hot? Try an audax. Regardless of where you live, modifications can be made to make your new friend feel comfortable. Check out BFP’s Salticidae Sunday blog for more information on different species. It may help you choose which species is right for you.
Regardless of the species, there are steps you can take to make the transition as easy as possible for your little guy. Maybe you found it outside, bought it from a reptile expo, or it was shipped to you. It doesn’t matter how you two came into each other's life, what matters is that your spider may have arrived to you stressed and overwhelmed with the new changes. The primary goal here should be to make your spider as comfortable as possible.
If you found your little guy outside, don’t disregard this section. Think about how you brought it home. Did you use a container? If so, this section is important.
We can’t speak for all breeders, but many will use deli cups as temporary housing for the spider. This also serves as a great option for shipping. There are many different variations on shipping, and each have their pros and cons. Here at BFP, we use a flower. The jumpers will often make their nests in the flower and it provides some protection during shipping and makes it easier to see them when you open their container. This can also reduce the likelihood of them escaping without you noticing.
Your first order of business when unpacking your jumper is to locate them. Notice I did not say to open the lid first? The reason is because the spider may have made a molt sac between the lid and container wall. As seen below.
If that is the case, and you open it, it might disrupt their molt and cause some serious health problems, which can result in their death. So, find the spider first.
If it is in the lid, don’t worry, we can help. You will need to wait until they leave on their own. It may take some time, or it may be pretty quick, but make sure to let them come out on their own. They still need moisture so don’t skip the misting.
You will still want to mist them, which can be difficult without opening the lid. There are a couple ways you can do this. First, your breeder should have added vent holes to the container. You can spray some water through one of those, but make sure not to spray the spider directly. You can also CAREFULLY cut a hole in the cup large enough to mist the side of the container. VERY CAREFULLY. Your goal is obviously not to get the spider, but also not to disturb their molt sac, or to squish their container.
The most important thing to know here is not to disturb the molt sac. It will come out on its own, and when it does, you can open the lid.
If your little guy is not in the lid, congrats! You can open the cup. Careful though, they could still be molting so don’t go poking and prodding trying to get them to come out. Patience.
If the spider is out of their molt sac (above), they might be ready to play. If they are in their their molt sac (below), leave them be.
You want to let them come out on their own if they haven’t already. Some may come out right away, some may be in molt, and some may want to hide for a few more days. Let them venture out.
Whether they have ventured out on their own or not, they are probably dehydrated. Mist the sides of their enclosure and offer them some food. At BFP, we do not recommend a cricket or mealworm as a homecoming meal, especially if they have not ventured out of their shipping cup. Crickets and mealworms can hurt your jumper. If they are molting, they won’t be able to defend themselves and/or get a quick bite to eat. Flies are generally ok.
Now comes the hard part. Close their enclosure and walk away. As tempting as it is to pull them out and look at them up close, this might not be best for the spider. Of course, there are many spiders that will come to you right away and immediately want to hang out with you. That is totally fine, and at BFP we encourage that. However, if your little guy is shy or molting, give them a day or two to get used to their new surroundings.
Sum it up
- Discover your species
- Locate your spider first
- If the spider is in the lid, follow the above options
- Open the deli cup
- DO NOT DISTURB
- Mist the deli cup and/or enclosure
- If the spider is hiding, place the deli cup in their new home
- Walk away or watch them but DO NOT DISTURB unless they initiate