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14.4: Maevia inclemens: Dimorphic Jumping Spider

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

Common Name

  • Dimorphic Jumping Spider


The dimorphic jumping spider, Maevia inclemens, is a relatively common and colorful jumping spider of North America. It can vary in color from beige to black, with markings to indicate race. It has eight legs and up to eight eyes. There are two forms, a rare event in zoology. The grey morph has black and white stripes all over its body, orange palls (pedipalps or feelers), and no tufts. The tufted morph has a black body, palps, three tufts on its head, and pale legs.

The complete taxonomic classification is:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Genus: Maevia
  • Species: M. inclemens


The dimorphic jumping spider lives in urban and rural areas in Canada and the United States. It can be found in bushes and small plants, houses, and in wet areas. It is very common in Canada, but not here in California. 


Cell Biology

Like all animals, the dimorphic jumping spider has eukaryotic cells, which have a nucleus and organelles. When producing new cells, existing cells will divide, known as mitosis or meiosis. The cell created via mitosis has the same chromosomes as the original cell. Meiosis makes a cell with only half the chromosomes of the original cell. Meiosis makes gametes for reproduction.


Spiders have been evolving for almost 400 years. The trigonotarbids were some of the first. They were very similar to spiders, with two legs for feeling, and 8 for walking. Then the Attercopus evolved, along with orb-weaving spiders in the Jurassic period, which then evolved into the spiders of today over time.


The dimorphic jumping spider eats flying insects, including bees and flies. Instead of making a web, it jumps on its prey. However, it uses a string of silk to protect itself while jumping. It is prey to wasps, who eat it for food.

Anatomy and Physiology

The dimorphic jumping spider, like all other spiders, has eight legs, and two parts of the body, the cephalothorax and the abdomen. All jumping spiders a have great sense of sight. They use that to catch prey and attract mates. The dimorphic jumping spider uses all eight of its legs to jump. The spider has fangs, along with two feelers in its mouth, used for feeling. When it lands on its prey, the dimorphic jumping spider uses its fangs to kill the prey. It also creates a web to ride on. The dimorphic jumping spider has better eyesight than a cat. They have eight eyes, with two on the back of the head. The spider stores its gonads in the abdomen, used for mating.


The dimorphic jumping spider is a solitary animal. The male dimorphic jumping spider attracts mates by pushing himself as high as he can with three legs, swinging the abdomen side to side. If the female accepts, she will extend her front legs and tap them. Then both commence in leg clapping and zig-zag dancing. The male makes these mating attempts at least nine centimeters away from the female.




  • Jackson D. Sipe

Supervising Faculty

  • Amy Huff Shah


  • Museum School, San Diego, California


  • Published prior to review.

Edit History

  • Created: April 5, 2013
  • Version 1.0 submitted to CK-12: July 6, 2013
  • CK-12 edits: in progress


  • Middle School (grades 6-8)

Image Attributions




6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12

Date Created:

Aug 15, 2012

Last Modified:

Oct 05, 2015
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