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Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Facts About Types of Spiders

The Garden Spider

The garden spider is black and yellow. It spins webs where insects often fly, such in flower gardens and around light fixtures.

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.

Wolf Spiders

A wolf spider chases insects rather than building a web to catch them.

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 enemies.

Black Widow

This lady spider carries powerful poison. Sometimes she kills her mate and then eats him!

The black widow spider is the only spider with a poisonous bite.

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 near people.

The Trap-door Spider

The trapdoor spider spins a web in a hole in the ground, and then catches insects as they walk by.

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.

The Grass Spider

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.

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 site.

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.

Crab Spiders

A crab spider is often the same color as the flower they hide in and may change color.

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.

Daddy Longlegs

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' are moms.

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.

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