Facts About Types of Spiders
Spiders are invertebrates,
which means they don't have backbones. These small creatures help plants
reproduce by pollinating them. They also help recycle dead trees and
animals back into the earth. They are also a vital source of food for
birds, fish, and small mammals. Without invertebrates, like spiders and
insects, many other living things would not survive.
Spiders are not insects. Insects have three body parts and six legs.
Spiders have eight legs and two body parts, the abdomen and the thorax.
Spiders have silk spinning glands called spinnerets, at the tip of their
Not all spiders spin webs. Spiders belong to the Arachnid family.
There are more than 30,000 species of spiders.
Spiders are oviparous, which means their babies come from eggs.
Most spiders have either six or eight eyes.
Most spiders have fangs, through which venom is ejected.
Opiliones are commonly called shepherd
spiders, harvest spiders or harvestmen.
The term harvestmen or harvest spiders was a
result of them being seen only during harvesting time. They are also referred to
as daddy long legs but should not be confused with similarly named spiders, the
are not spiders and have no spinning organs, fangs or venom glands and are
harmless to man.
Spider bites can be quite painful, and a select few can be fatal.
Fear of spiders is called
Arachnophobia. It is one of the most common fears among humans.
Tarantulas shed their furry skin as they grow, leaving behind what looks
just like another tarantula.
Spiders eat many types of harmful insects, helping to keep your garden
free of pests.
Spiders are creatures that have 8 legs, have no wings or antennae. They
have 2 distinct body parts called the thorax or head and the abdomen. Spiders
have an exoskeleton, meaning that their skeleton is on the outside.
Spiders have as many as 8 eyes, but some spiders have only 6 eyes and
several spiders have fewer or even none. All spiders
have fangs through which venom is ejected. The tip of the abdomen has
silk spinning glands called spinnerets by which a spider
can spin a web. However, not all spiders spin webs.
Most spiders are very
nearsighted. To make up for this, they use the hair on their body to feel
their way around and to sense when other animals are near.
Webs get dirty and torn, so
lots of spiders make a new one every day. They don't waste the old one,
though--they roll it up into a ball and eat it!
Young spiders resemble adults. Only their size and coloration differ.
Male spiders are usually smaller than female spiders.
Click on the spiders to learn more.
The garden spider is black and
It spins webs where insects often fly, such in flower gardens and around
A wolf spider chases insects rather than
building a web to catch them.
The black widow spider is the only spider
with a poisonous bite.
The trapdoor spider spins a web in a hole in
the ground, and then catches insects as they walk by.
A grass spider has a funnel - shaped web and
is often seen on lawns.
The tarantula is the largest in the spider
family and may live for more than 30 years.
A crab spider is often the same color as the
flower they hide in and may change color.
Is this a
spider or an insect?
The Garden Spider
The orange garden spider has an unusual web,
it is cartwheel - shaped. This is called an orb web. This spider spins a zigzag
line of silk across the middle of its web. It is called a trap line.
Some of the silk is sticky so the spider can catch its prey. It never gets caught
in its own web because it has a coating of oil on its legs.
The garden spider holds onto the trap line
as it hides nearby. When an insect gets caught, the trap line
vibrates. The garden spider feels the movement. It runs
out to capture it prey.
To view how this
spider actually makes a web go to this link.
The Trap-door Spider
The trap-door spider digs a hole using spiny
teeth on it jaws. Then it lines the hole with spider silk and makes a
secret door at the top. From this safe tunnel, it scoots out to catch a
meal or pops in to hide from an enemy.
This is the largest spider
in the world. A tarantula will live about 90 percent of its life in a burrow.
Tarantulas dig deep burrows and line them with silk webbing, which helps
prevent sand and dirt from trickling in. Tarantulas might look creepy, but in
a human, a tarantula bite is unlikely to cause problems other than pain at the
Female tarantula may look mean and
fierce. But they are good spider moms. They don't let their young
ones out of their sight. Female tarantulas and many other spiders carry
their cocoons with them. After the baby spiders hatch out, the
female may carry them on her back for a while. If one spider baby falls off, mom
quickly retrieves it.
The hairy South American bird spider is a
monster of the tarantula family. One species is ten inches from toe to
toe-as big as a dinner plate.
This spider eats lizards, birds, even
mice! It dissolves their insides with its venom and then sucks them dry.
Tarantulas often live up to twenty years.
This lady spider carries powerful
poison. Sometimes she kills her mate and then eats him!
Almost all spiders carry venom. But
the female black widow spider of the southern United States is famous for
hers. Although she is only about half an inch long, her poison has
occasionally killed humans. Luckily, the black widow isn't usually found
Crab spiders scuttle sideways just like
crabs. They hide in flowers and plants. They attack with a poison
bite on an insect's neck or head.
A crab spider can change color to match then
flower it's hiding in.
Wolf spiders don't make webs. Instead,
they chase their prey and run it down, the way wolves do.
Wolf spiders often prowl in the dark.
They have eight eyes to help them see. Hunting wasps are their greatest
Daddy longlegs, or harvestmen, are relatives
of true spiders. Like spiders, they have eight legs. But, these dads
can drop a leg or two to get away from an enemy. Some daddy longlegs spiders'
Daddy-long-legs spiders have
venom glands and fangs but their tiny fangs are fused at the base and they
cannot open their jaws wide enough to bite humans. As they cannot bite humans,
their venom has not been studied in detail. As far as Dr Mike Gray (senior archeologist
at the Australian Museum) knows, there is no evidence in the scientific
literature to suggest that the venom of daddy-long-legs could harm humans.
However daddy-long-legs kill
and eat other spiders, including Redback Spiders whose venom CAN be fatal to
humans. Perhaps this is the origin of the rumor that daddy-long-legs are the
most venomous spiders in the world. It might be argued that if they can kill a
deadly spider, they must be even more deadly themselves, but daddy-long-legs
only need to be quicker to bite, not more venomous.