Can Spiders See in the Dark?

Spiders have several ways to sense the world. They can use structural cues like webs and legs to locate prey and navigate. They also rely on their other senses to detect danger.

Some spiders, such as crab spiders, prefer brightly lighted areas. Others, such as wolf spiders, have better night vision than most species. These animals can see in the dark because they have a special membrane that reflects light back to their retina.

Although most spiders do not have perfect vision, most species are able to move and hunt in low light. They rely on their other senses, such as smell and vibrations on the ground, to locate and catch their prey.

Some species have adapted to live and hunt in the dark. Wolf spiders, for example, have a special membrane in their eyes called a “tapetum lucidum.” It reflects light back to their retina, increasing the chance that they can fully leverage each photon.

Jumping spiders have four pairs of eyes. Each has two pigments for green and ultraviolet light. Their primary eyes are limited to color vision. However, the secondary eyes are designed to track distance and movement.

A recent study by researchers at UC San Diego used AI to create a simulation to investigate the jumping spider’s vision. The simulation involved changing the intensity and contrast of the background and the colors of the spider’s eyes. As the simulation progressed, the color information accumulated by the spider was retrieved.