1% of the time when a spider would normally spawn in the Overworld (either naturally, or by spawn egg), a skeleton will spawn on the spider's back. This can be a deadly combination for beginners, as spiders move very fast, can climb walls, and skeletons shoot arrows from a distance. This mob is treated as two separate mobs, so when one dies, the other survives and continues the attack.
An effective strategy for fighting spider jockeys is to use a bow, while using an object for cover (such as a tree), as it can block the skeleton's arrows. A sword can be effective, but getting close to the mob is inadvisable.
Cave Spider Variant
A cave spider jockey (only available in Pocket Edition) is a variant of the spider jockey, where the skeleton is riding a cave spider, instead of a normal one. Like regular spider jockeys, they have a 1% chance to spawn naturally in the Overworld, and a small chance to be spawned when a cave spider spawn egg is used.
This type of jockey is more dangerous than the rest, as it shoots poisonous arrows at players, afflicting them with the poison status effect. When the skeleton dies, the spider will continue to poison players as it attacks them.
Wither Skeleton Variant
In snow biomes, a spider can spawn with a stray on it, instead of a normal skeleton. If there is an abandoned mineshaft underneath a snow biome, there's a small chance of spawning a cave spider stray jockey.
- When it's raining, the spider will become neutral because it is light enough, yet the skeleton will not burn because it is dark enough.
- Tamed wolves will attack the mob a player hits first, so if fighting with wolves, it is recommended to hit the spider, as wolves might not be able to reach the skeleton if that is their target.
- Sometimes, when one quits the game and loads the world again, the skeleton will no longer be there.
- If a spider jockey is named "Dinnerbone" or "Grumm", only the skeleton will be upside down.
- The spider will often climb under tight spaces, suffocating the skeleton.
- If the spider is killed first, the skeleton will remain in a sitting position for a brief moment.
- Cave spider jockeys were added to Minecraft: Pocket Edition in update 0.11.0.
- The skeleton can sometimes shoot the spider (instead of a player) while it is jumping, or if a player is underneath them. This will cause a strange fight between the two mobs.
- Unlike a normal skeleton, if the jockey skeleton shoots and kills a creeper, it won't drop a music disc.