Zebra Spider – Salticus scenicus


Salticus scenicus belongs to the family Salticidae, otherwise known as Zebra Spiders or more aptly Zebra Jumping Spiders. There are only three species of Salticidae in Britain and whilst they can all be mistaken for each other, distribution would make scenicus the most likely species.

Salticus scenicus


A small common species 5-7mm, found just about anywhere in the garden, even scurrying across ivy over the fishpond. We only see these guys during the warmer months of the year. The males have a bigger head than the females, so the sexes can be told apart with a little practice.

It’s place in the Garden (Resident)

These guys are present every year and like all spiders are carnivorous (well some spiders apparently also eat pollen). So we are considering them to be resident in the garden and have no reason not to expect to see them again in a few months when spring arrives.

Salticus scenicus

They feed on other small arthropods, apparently including other small spiders. In fact in the image above we believe the victim being carried is a small/juvenile spider.

How to encourage the species to your garden

The very useful Field Guide to Britain’s Spiders (1), provides distribution maps for all three species, but only two are likely to be found (the third is scarce) and where they are (over most of England, less so it seems in Wales and Scotland) they can be very common. As such it would seem likely that in areas known to support the common species (Salticus scenicus OR Salticus cingulatus), all you really have to do is provide habitat for small athropods (prey). The ‘Feed them and they will come’ approach.

A Garden Favourite

In our blog post (dated 16th December 2022…Click HERE), we alluded to these guys being a Garden Favourite and have dubbed them the Nosey Ninja’s, see video below.

  1. Bee, L & Oxford G & Smith H. (2020) Britain’s Spiders: A field Guide. Second edition. Oxfordshire: Princeton University Press