Q:

What is a Portia spider?

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Quick Answer

Portia spiders are jumping spiders belonging to the genus Portia. There are 17 species. Portia spiders use a wide variety of hunting techniques and learn new hunting tactics rapidly using a trial-and-error approach.

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Full Answer

Portia spiders are native to India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, China, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Philippines. They hunt other spiders and are able to kill web-building spiders up to twice their own size. Their hunting tactics include web invasion, in which they enter another spider's web and mimic the vibrations of a trapped insect to lure the resident spider to them. Portia spiders also stalk other spiders, freezing when in another spider's visual field and continuing their advance when unobserved. When hunting other jumping spiders, Portia spiders mimic bits of leaf detritus until near enough to pounce.

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