Zebra Spider

Zebra Spider ©Bruce Shortland

Zebra Spider

Scientific name: Salticus scenicus
As its name suggests, the Zebra Spider has the familiar black-and-white stripes of a zebra, making it very distinctive. It can be found stalking its prey on rocks, trees and walls, particularly in gardens.

Species information

Statistics

Body length: 6-7mm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to October

About

The Zebra Spider is a common jumping spider that stalks and leaps on its prey - it can jump up to 10cm, over 14 times its own body length! Look for it on walls, rocks and tree trunks in the sun, particularly in gardens and sometimes in houses. Males attract females through a complex courtship dance, moving around the females with their legs waving in the air. The females create a silk cocoon in which the eggs are protected, and guards the nest until the young hatch.

How to identify

The Zebra Spider is a small spider, with a relatively large body. It is so-named for its black-and-white stripy pattern. There are several very similar species of jumping spider in the UK, which can be hard to tell apart; as a group, however, they are very distinctive.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

With more than 5,000 species, the jumping spiders (Salticidae) are the largest family of spiders in the world.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.