7 Spider Characteristics: 23 Facts You Should Know!


Except for Antarctica, every continent on earth has spiders. Let us explore more about spiders in detail.

One of the most significant carnivorous creatures on the earth are spiders. Spider comes under the class of arachnids. Without spiders, insects would become a major problem on a global scale and would seriously disrupt ecosystems.

Spiders have numerous characteristics different from other arachnids in terms of their physical structure, food, and predatory abilities.

Few characteristic features of spiders are given below-

  • Spider body is divided into two segments containing eight jointed legs, no wings and antenna are present.
  • The cephalothorax and the abdomen are the two body segments.
  • They contain exoskeleton which is periodically shed.
  • Although some spiders have fewer or perhaps no eyes at all, most have eight eyes, and all have quite poor vision.
  • Spiders lack chewing mouthparts, hence they can only ingest liquids. The prey or food is broken down into a liquid by the digestive juices.
  • Spider can prey any creature if it is small enough to be caught and eaten by a spider.
  • Spiders monitors a site based on the presence of other spiders, and they may even expel competitors from their webs in order to claim them for themselves.
  • Spiders create silk that is tough, resistant to a variety of solvents, and even has qualities that make it thermally conductive.

Let us discuss if spiders are invertebrates, blind, decomposers, if it has exoskeleton and many other related facts in this article.

Are spiders mammals?

If an animal can produce milk, it is regarded as a mammal. Let us find out if spiders are mammals.

Spiders are not mammals, they are Arachnids, a class of arthropods that also includes spiders. Mammals are generally vertebrate and specifically contains mammary glands which produces milk for the nourishment of their young ones.

Are spiders insects?

Insects comes under the phyla arthropoda. Let us find out whether spiders are insects or not.

Spiders cannot be considered as insects. Although they share a distant ancestry, spiders and insects are not the same kind of organisms. Although they are both invertebrate animals with an exoskeleton, insects and spiders differ from one another in many ways.

Are spiders invertebrates?

Animal that lacks vertebral column are invertebrates. Let us discuss if spiders have vertebral column.

Spiders are invertebrates and it lacks a backbone, instead it has a tough outermost covering.

Are spiders carnivores?

Flesh eating animals are carnivores. Let us explore if spiders come under that category.

The majority of spider species are carnivorous, either hunting down or capturing flies and other insects in their webs. Spiders inject their prey with digesting fluids, then suck out the liquefied leftovers, thus they are unable to take their food as it is.

Some spiders, notably the Bagheera kiplingi species, are reported to be almost exclusively herbivorous. As a result, although the majority of spider species are still regarded as pure carnivores, spiders as a group are actually omnivores.

Are spiders arthropods?

Arthropod is the largest phylum of animal kingdom. Let us determine whether spider is a member of this phylum.

Spiders are arthropods as their skeletal system is the top layer of their body. Spider’s strong exoskeleton aids in keeping it moist and prevents it from drying out. The bristles are actually a component of their exoskeleton and not hair.

Are spiders blind?

Spiders do have multiple eyes. Let us explore if spiders are blind or not.

Spiders are not considered as blind. The majority of spiders have eight eyes, while some only have six or fewer, and few of them have good vision. To find their prey, they instead rely on taste, vibration, and touch sensations.

Most are only able to perceive little variations in light and darkness, which encourage nocturnal web-building, hunting, or other activities, as well as swift mobility to enable quick reactions to daylight predators (e.g. by dropping from webs).

Are spiders nearsighted?

Although most spiders have eight eyes, few of them have good vision. Let us discuss if spiders are nearsighted or they can see far.

Spiders are nearsighted. Although nearsightedness is a problem for humans, it is not a deficiency in spiders due to their behaviours. They wait for their prey to become entangled in their webs and deploy silk trip wires to warn of oncoming predators.

Some spider species employ their capacity to detect polarised light in their median eyes to help them navigate while hunting.

Are spiders colorblind?

Spiders can see easily their surroundings. Let us find out if spiders can see colourful objects or they are colorblind.

Most of the spiders are not colorblind. Spiders can see in red, green, and blue color because of their retinal cells called cones. In contrast, wolf spiders only see green and ultraviolet light due to their dichromatic eyesight. They are essentially colorblind as a result. 

The jumping spiders are beautiful to see, but one of them, while being brightly coloured, is colourblind. 

Are spiders arachnids?

Arachnids is one of the group of phylum arthropods. Let us explore, in which subphyla spiders belongs to.

Spiders belong to sub phylum Arachnids. Hexapoda (insects and springtails), Chelicerata (arachnids), Crustacea (crustaceans), and Myriapoda (myriapods) are the four subphyla of extant organisms that make up the phylum Arthropoda (millipedes and centipedes) .  

Are spiders a bug?

Bug usually refer to creepy and crawly animals. Let us find out whether spider are bugs or not.

Spiders are neither bugs (Hemiptera) nor insects (Insecta). Spiders belong to a class of their own called Arachnida or arachnids. This class contains ticks, mites, and scorpions in addition to spiders.

Are spiders amphibians?

Amphibians are those animals that live on land and water. Let us find out if spiders are amphibians.

Spiders are not amphibians as it belongs to the arachnid family. Phylum arthropods also includes ticks, prawns and crabs. They are closely related to insects and crustaceans.

Spiders can live around water and land as well but they cannot be amphibians at all. The eight legs of arachnids help them distinguish themselves from insects, which only have six legs.

Are spiders conscious?

Consciousness is an organisms’ response with its surroundings. Let us explore if spiders are conscious.

Spiders are conscious as it can use its web to help them plan, learn, and exhibit other abilities that suggest consciousness. These beings have a unique form of consciousness, including thoughts that are independent of their physical forms.

Are spiders deaf?

Spiders can see clearly. Let us find out if spiders are deaf.

In the usual sense, spiders are deaf as it do not have ears. However, increasing research indicates that some spiders, including jumping spiders, fishing spiders, and the recently discovered ogre-faced spider, have nerve-based auditory receptors on their legs.

Similar to ears, the receptors gather up soundwaves and send the impulses to the brain. Although it is commonly known that spiders can sense the vibrations of prey tiptoeing on their webs, this skill is not regarded as hearing.

Are spiders decomposers?

Decomposers usually feed on animal remains. Let us see if or not spiders as decomposers.

Spiders are not considered as decomposers, instead spiders are secondary and tertiary carnivore consumers. Despite the fact that spiders are typically thought of as consumers, some of them may be scavengers or detritivores if they eat insects that were not first slay by them.

Although they are not typically thought of as decomposers, spiders occasionally consume dead insects. Spiders do not typically devour deceased animals; instead, they prefer to prey on living insects.

Are spiders dumb?

Spiders are smarter than their victims. Let us discuss if spiders are dumb or not.

Spiders are not dumb creatures as they are brilliant when it comes to catching a meal. Many spiders have the ability to calculate how to solve difficulties in addition to learning through experience and watching other spiders.

For their size, jumping spiders are surprisingly sharp. They have great hearing ability, amazing full-color 3D vision, and good senses of touch and smell. They are naturally curious due to the combination of their senses and brainpower, and they like observing their surroundings.

Do spiders have exoskeleton?

All arthropods have exoskeleton. Let us get to know, of which component the spider outer body is made of.

Spiders have an exoskeleton. This is an overlapping layer of chitin, a natural polymer, and protein that serves as a hard, protective outer layer.

Spiders, in contrast to insects, also have an endoskeleton. Spider’s rigid exoskeleton does not expand and contract as the spider does. In order to make place for new exoskeletons, spiders must shed their old ones.

Are spiders ectotherms?

Ectotherms cannot maintain their homeostatis. Let us find out if spiders are ectotherm or endotherm.

Spiders are ectothermic or cold-blooded creatures, they are capable of changing their body temperature according to their surrounding temperature. Temperature affects both their metabolic rate and their levels of activity. 

Variations in web quality brought on by ambient temperature may have an impact on a spider’s ability to forage and reproduce. The amount of silk per web will vary depending on the temperature at which it is spun.

Are spiders multicellular?

Advanced body structure organisms are multicellular. Let us find out if spiders are multicellular.

Spiders are multicellular organisms, motile and they lack cell wall. They are triploblastic organisms means they contain all the three germinal layers i.e., ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm.

Are spiders pollinators?

Pollinators tend to carry pollen from one plant to another. Let us explore if spiders can act as pollinators.

Spiders may act as pollinators because some spider species are attracted towards plants and crops. So, they travel between different plants and flowers and contributes to the pollination.

By consuming insects that prevent the decomposition process, which helps to build healthy soil, they contribute to the decomposition of dead plants and animals. Overall, spiders play a crucial role in ensuring that crops are strong and plentiful.   

Are spiders reptiles?

Reptiles usually have dry skin and scales on their body. Let us find out, if spiders and reptiles are same.

Spiders cannot be considered as reptiles because reptiles are vertebrates while spiders are invertebrate. Spiders comes under the biggest phylum of animal kingdom called arthropods.

Are spiders rodents?

Rodents are mostly soil dwelling in nature. Let us determine whether spiders are rodents.

Spiders cannot be rodents. All rodents are classified as mammals within the Order Rodentia, which includes more than 2,000 different species. Spiders are arachnids and comes under the phylum arthropods.

Are spiders sensitive to light?

Ectotherms are mostly attracted towards heat and light. Let us find out, if spiders are sensitive to light.

Spiders are sensitive to light, they prefer dark areas. But there are also some species of spider who are diurnal in nature means they prefer daylight. There are various kinds of spiders, and it is crucial to note that each species reacts to light differently.

Bright light sources will attract certain species attention, especially nocturnal spiders. They rarely have the ability to use light to detect prey at night and navigate.

Are spiders sensitive to sound?

Spiders do not have ears or eardrums. Let us see if spiders are sensitive to sound.

Spiders are sensitive to sound without having ear, still they can hear or feel the sound vibrations using their tiny hairs present on legs.

How are spiders sensitive to sound?

The tarsal claws at the tips of spiders’ legs, which they use to grasp onto the web, are equipped with sensory organs that enable them to detect even the smallest vibrations and motions. Spiders employ the webs they weave to create extended auditory arrays.

Are spiders territorial?

The majority of animals and insects have a territorial nature. Let us assess whether spiders reside alone or in swarms.

Spiders exhibit territorial nature especially the female ones. Big female spiders build huge web to colonize large area defining their territory. Whereas male spiders usually live solitary.

While the majority of spider species are solitary and even hostile to other spiders of the same species, hundreds of species across various families have a preference for living in colonies.

Are spiders water resistant?

Water does not dissolve spider webs. Let us explore if spiders are water resistant.

Spiders are not usually water resistant but the only spider species known to dwell almost fully underwater is the diving bell spider, sometimes known as the water spider (Argyroneta aquatica).

Numerous spider species have been evolved to live in and around water. These are frequently referred to as water spiders or fishing spiders. Many of them are capable of running across the water’s surface.

Conclusion

To sum up, we may say that spiders are arachnids and are therefore members of the phylum Arthropod. Though, they share some characteristics with insects, they are not considered to be insects. They are able to see, and can hear the sound waves using hairs like structure present on their legs. They are conscious and quite smart in catching their prey. By eliminating pests, the spiders contribute to the preservation of nature’s balance.

Saif Ali

Hi, I am Saif Ali. I obtained my Master's degree in Microbiology and have one year of research experience in water microbiology from  National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee. Antibiotic resistant microorganisms and soil bacteria, particularly PGPR, are my areas of interest and expertise. Currently, I'm focused on developing antibiotic alternatives. I'm always trying to discover new things from my surroundings.  My goal is to provide readers with easy-to-understand microbiology articles. If you have a bug, treat it with caution and avoid using antibiotics to combat SUPERBUGS. Let's connect via LinkedIn:http://linkedin.com/in/saif-ali-80b5098b

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