Captivity Induced Web Spinning of Plexippus petersi (Karsch,1878) (Jump/Zebra Spider) of Chennai, India

Padmavathi Sriram *

Nautilus Life Sciences, 132/1, 11th Street, K.K, Nagar, 2nd Sector, Chennai, 600078, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Plexippus petersi, common jump/zebra spider of Chennai households, belongs to the family of Salticidae. Though spinning of a web is considered to be an inbuilt feature of almost all the spiders, certain spiders do not spin typical webs, and Plexippus petersi is one of them. The present study was undertaken, to investigate if this species of spiders can build a web when exposed to any sort of calamity. In this regard, male and female spiders were carefully handpicked, identified and maintained under laboratory condition for a period of four days. After the experimental period, the spiders were relived from captivity and were individually photographed.  During the experimental period, it was quite fascinating to observe that the female of this species, secreted silk threads from her abdominal glands, and were woven in to a sheet web. The silk of the web, was sticky in nature, white in color and was able to be molded in to long filamentous structure. This web spinning behavior was only observed in the female and not in male spiders. The results of this study precisely illustrate the fact that, when triggered under the pressure of a disaster,  the female spiders  can weave a web and evade any uncertainty  This amusing observational study, gives a deeper acumen not only about the behavioral aspect, but also explains, the probable success of these tiny arachnids,  in evolution which may be probably attributed to their jumping behavior and web building strategy  of  the females. The female spiders, seem to weave the web, not just for escape from predators, catching the prey, and    protection of egg cases  but also to  escape from adversaries at uncertain times.

Keywords: Plexippus petersi, jump/ zebra spiders, sheet web, Salticidae arachnids, Chennai

How to Cite

Sriram, P. (2022). Captivity Induced Web Spinning of Plexippus petersi (Karsch,1878) (Jump/Zebra Spider) of Chennai, India. Asian Journal of Research in Zoology, 5(4), 1–6.


Download data is not yet available.


Brunetta L, Craig CL. Spider silk: evolution and 400 million years of spinning, waiting, snagging,and mating. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press; 2012.

Todd AB, Nikolaj S, Jonathan AC, Tamas S, John WW, Cheryl YH, Ingi A, Thomas WS. Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA. 2009; 106:5229–5234.

DOI: 10.1073/pnas. 0901377106

Blackledge TA, Kuntner M, Agnarsson I. The form and function of spider orb webs: evolution from silk to ecosystems. Adv. In Insect Phys. 2011;41:175–262.

DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-415919-8. 00004-5

Weitzman JB. Spider's web. Genome Biol 2, spotlight-20010330-01 (2001).

Karl Von Frisch Twelve Little Housemates Enlarged and Revised Edition of the Popular Book Describing Insects That Live in Our Homes: 1978;119-141.

Chaubey SN. Studies on habit and habitat, external morphology, feeding capacity and prey preference of zebra jumper Plexippus Petersi (Karsch) Indian J. Sci. Res. 2017;15(1): 64-68.

Carryn Manicom, Lin Schwarzkopf, Ross A. Alford, and Thomas W. Schoener Self-made shelters protect spiders from predation; 2008.


Chloe Tenn,;2021.

Romer, Lin, and Thomas Scheibel. “The Elaborate Structure of Spider Silk. Prion. 2008;2(4):154-161. DOI:10.4161/pri.2.4.7490

Su I, Buehler MJ. Nanomechanics of silk: the fundamentals of a strong, tough and versatile material. Nanotechnology. 2016; 27:302001.

DOI: 10.1088/ 0957-4484/27/30/302001

Cranford SW, Tarakanova A, Pugno NM, Buehler MJ. Nonlinear material behaviour of spider silk yields robust webs. Nature. 2012;482:72–76.

DOI:10. 1038/nature10739

Harmer AMT, Blackledge TA, Madin JS, Herberstein ME. High-performance spider webs: integrating biomechanics, ecology and behaviour. J. R. Soc. Interface. 2010;2010:20100454. DOI:10.1098/rsif.2010.0454

Jason Bittel; 2019.

Available: explained

Mike Gray; 2018.


Ben Cost;2022


Kate Latham,

Biswas BK, Biswas K. Fauna of Sikkim (Araneae: Spiders), State fauna Series. 2003;3:357-500.

Nentwig W, Hänggi A, Kropf C, Blick T. Central European Spiders determination (assessed 8.12.) PLATNICK NI. The world spider catalog, version 8.0. American Museum of Natural History; 2003. Online at http:// (2007).

Zschokke S, Herberstein ME. Laboratory methods for maintaining and studying web building spiders. J. Arachnol. 2005;33: 205–213.

DOI:10. 1636/CT04-72.1

Carolyn Crossley, Available:

Gordus Andrew. Johns Hopkins scientists probe mystery of spider web-spinning; 2017.