Bog Sun-jumper Spider

Fast Facts

Latin name: Heliophanus dampfi

Notable feature: Black thorax and abdomen, brown legs with iridescent green mouth parts.

Conservation Status: Not Evaluated

Where in the UK: Five raised bog sites in central Scotland (Flanders Moss, Ochtertyre, Dunmore Moss, Wester Moss and Letham Moss) and Cors Foncho in western Wales

Bog Sun-jumper Spider © Chris Cathrine- Caledonian Conservation Ltd


The Bog Sun-jumper Spider (Heliophanus dampfi) is a tiny spider, only found in raised bogs, making it one of the rarest jumping spiders in Britain.

This little jumper is black in colour, with brown legs and lime green palps (the second pair of appendages lateral to its jaws).  Palps are used to transfer sperm from the male to the female.  In males the palps are enlarged compared to females and can often appear like boxing gloves.

These spiders get their name from their ability to leap distances; using this ability to catch prey and for crossing gaps.  Bog Sun-jumpers are able to accurately judge distance by having two large eyes on a flat face that point forward.  Some species of jumping spiders also use this good vision in elaborate courtship rituals consisting of bright colours and extravagant dancing manoeuvres.

Sun-jumpers can be found hiding at the base of grass tussocks in poor weather, emerging when conditions improve.

    • Size:  3mm in length
    • Life span:  Jumping spiders in general tend to live between six months and two years
    • Diet: Jumping spiders are ambush hunters and use their jumping ability to capture prey; feeding primarily on insects
    • Reproduction: Female jumping spiders will create an egg sac to lay eggs in.  Once the spiderlings hatch they will molt multiple times as they grow larger and are at their most vulnerable until their final exoskeleton comes in. Spiders reach adulthood after five to ten molts
    • When to see:  Adult females can be found from April to July, males in June and July
    • Population Trend:  This is a very rare declined and declining species
    • Threats: Loss of habitat, in particular loss of raised bogs as a result of destruction and degradation through human activity
    • Fun Facts:  Jumping spiders can jump up to 50 times their own body length!  Bog Sun-jumper Spiders were only discovered in Britain 30 years ago
    • Species Champion: Michelle Thompson ~ SNP

The Bog Sun-jumper Spider has been identified as a Criteria B species through our Important Invertebrate Area (IIA) work.

How you can help: 

Buglife is working to increase awareness of invertebrates and the Bog Sun-jumper Spider through specific projects, including our current Falkirk Lowland raised Bog Restoration Project and previous Slamannan Bog Restoration and Saving Auchenines Moss, but we need your help!

If you would like to volunteer for our current project please get in touch with our Peatland Conservation Officer Melissa Shaw.  There are volunteering opportunities ranging from practical workdays to take out scrub and trees on the bogs, to survey work across the bogs for wildlife and to monitor water levels both before and after restoration work has been carried out.

Find out about our peat bogs and what you can do to help this species by going #PeatFree; check out our blog “Don’t get bogged down with peat…

Join a recording scheme and log your finds – send any records/sightings to British Arachnological Society or download the iRecord app and get recording!

Michelle Thomson MSP - Bog Sun-jumper Spider Nature Champion @MichelleThomson (sq)
Michelle Thomson MSP – Bog Sun-jumper Spider Nature Champion

Bog Sun-jumper Spider Nature Champion:

Michelle Thomson MSP

  • Member for: Falkirk East
  • Region: Central Scotland
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Find out more about Scottish Nature Champions

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