The Portia Spider which is also known as a jumping spider, is considered a skillful and accomplished predator. They are usually found in shades of brown, with an unusual appearance representative of a leaf or piece of debris allowing for maximum camouflage! This species is complex in behaviour and appearance with random tufts of hair on the body and legs, two really large eyes accompanied by six smaller eyes, and their strangely intelligent nature. This particular breed of spider is relatively small, only growing up to about 10 mm in size. The female of the species generally grows 2-3 mm larger than the male. The average lifespan of these remarkable creatures is between 1 and 3 years, and apparently their biggest threat in the wild is wasps and lizards.
It is estimated there are between 15 and 17 species of it's kind worldwide, found in a variety of countries such as China, Africa and India but they are predominantly found in parts of Australia. The spider prefers to live in warm tropical climates, especially forest areas but generally they will reside wherever food is abundant. People have been thought to identify the home of the Portia spider as a tubular shaped web, however there is reason to believe that this species will take a web from another. This happens when the other spider has retreated or been killed by the Portia.
The Portia Spider is carnivorous and unusually feeds on other species of spider and their eggs. They will attack a spider larger than itself as well as smaller. They show a marked preference for other jumping spiders like themselves, and web-building types. The Portia spider will cleverly use manipulation to trick other spiders, playing with their webs to lure them for attack. Unfortunately the unsuspecting prey depicts the movements as that of a captured insect or a mate, alas the victim is attacked, injected and momentarily killed with poisonous venom (not harmful to humans) and then eaten! As previously pointed out, this predator is highly camouflaged and has two relatively large eyes allowing for excellent vision. They are sneaky in their approach and will sometimes attack prey from behind if deemed a threat. This spiders' significant skills are their patience and intelligence levels! As well as being able to wait and persevere with a task for a very long period of time, they have the ability to learn and solve problems which indeed qualifies them as a dangerous and skilled predator. Professionals have analysed the Portia Spider as the worlds most intelligent Arachnid species!
The male and the female of this species will exhibit a strange dance before mating, which consists of the shaking, banging, and lifting of various body parts. Unfortunately, the male is killed by the female either before, during or after the mating ritual. If done before, the female takes what she needs from the male before eating in order to make the eggs! The female usually places her protected eggs on the underside of a curved nearby leaf.