"So where do zebra spiders fit in?"

Domain: Eukarya
    Kingdom: Animalia
        Phylum: Arthropoda
            Class: Arachnida
                Order: Araneae
                    Family: Salticidae
                        Genus: Salticus
                            Species: Salticus scenicus

"What characteristics make Salticus scenicus
part of each of these taxonomic levels?"

Domain: Eukarya- All members possess a true nucleus and membrane-bound organelles.

Kingdom: Animalia- All members are multicellular heterotrophs without cell walls. Also, locomotion is a distinct characteristic among these members.

Arthropoda- The zebra spider shares their classification as arthropods with other joint-legged creatures such as lobsters, millipedes, scorpions, and insects. All of these members are triploblastic, contain a coelomate, have a true digestive system, bilateral symmetry, segmented bodies.

Arachnida- The zebra spider, along with all other eight-legged species within the phylum Arthropoda, live in terrestrial areas. A key diagnostic feature of this class is the absence of antennae and wings exhibited by its members.

Araneae-The zebra spider, along with all spiders with in the class Arachnida, belong in the order Araneae. Key features include: two body segments, eight legs, no chewing mouth parts, capable of producing silk.

Salticidae- The zebra spider fits into the family Salticidae with over 4000 other species of jumping spiders. Their most obvious feature, apart from their jumping ability, is their large front-eyes which are clearly visible even with the naked eye.  Most Jumping spiders do not build a web, they use their four pairs of large eyes to locate prey and their jumping ability to pounce and capture prey.  Also, this family of spiders are relatively small in size.

Genus: Salticus- Was used as a salticid dump for a long time, and many species originally described in Salticus have been transferred elsewhere. They are typically marked with a black and white pattern, with some featuring transverse stripes. Mature males have very long chelicerae on which they rest their long, thin pedipalps. Females are from 3.5 to 7 mm in length, with males reaching up to 5 mm.

Species: Salticus scenicus - Is the most common of the species found in the Genus Salticus. Their size ranges between 5 -7 mm and they have a remarkable white and black stripe pattern, giving them the common name zebra spider. A key difference in these species is that they can be found on sunny walls. Like other jumping spiders, the zebra spider does not build a web. They use their four pairs of large eyes to locate prey and their jumping ability to pounce and capture prey. The scientific name Salticus scenicus comes from Latin roots, meaning
 "dancing" "on the stage" in English.

Now that you know why they are in each level, take a look at their phylogenetic trees to help get a good visual.


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