This page is dedicated to my favorite of all
Sure, some people think that they're gross, or
scary, or yucky, but not me.
I like them, always have, and always will
(unless one bites me and I die).
If you'd like to learn more about spiders, then
read more on this page. I've included lots of links to websites about spiders
to expand your knowledge.
- - - - What is a spider?
- - - -
Are spiders insects?
Nope They're part of a group called arachnids. Spiders
are related to insects,
kinda like distant cousins. Insects, crabs, lobsters, centipedes, millipedes,
and arachnids are all part of the group called arthropods
(a group of animals that have segmented bodies). Spiders have two body parts
and insects have three body parts. For more on arthropods, see: "Arthropods:
Animal Group." Check out these diagrams
of spiders, insects, and other arthropods.
How many legs do spiders have?
They have eight
legs (unless one gets chopped off). Insects have six
legs (unless one gets eaten by a spider). Each leg has lots of hairs
to sense the movement of nearby prey. Each leg is divided into seven parts
(coxa, trochanter, femur, patella, tibia, metatarus, tarsus). Oh, a jumping
spider can jump 25 times its height. That's a long way for such a small
creature. Check out three diagrams
of a spider and its leg.
How do spiders capture their
prey? They use two methods: some
a sticky web or and other spiders rely on their quickness or speed. 1st
method: Surprise! The crab spider can jump on their prey. The trapdoor spider
hides in a hole, then lunges out to capture unsuspecting nearby prey, and
drags it back into its lair. Scary! 2nd method: sticky silk. Many spiders use
the silk that comes from their spinnerets to catch insects that fly or wander
by. Some spiders cast nets on passing bugs. Some spiders spit at passing prey
(watch these three high-speed videos). Take this tough quiz
on webs or visit this site on silk
to learn more about webs. If you want to watch a tarantula capture a floor
mouse, then check out this video. Would you like to see a video of a jumping
spider leaping from one flower to another, and landing on a bee? Sometimes,
they just sit on a long leaf and wait for a victim, like a frog, to wander by.
Watch this fishing spider capture his dinner.
How do spiders make a web? That's
a good question. A helpful diagram is at this website. Look at this diagram of
a spider's web and the labeled parts.
Where on Earth do spiders live?
They live on every continent except
How do spiders reproduce?
They lay thousands of eggs in an egg sac. Now, that's a lot of spider diapers.
To see a video of the mating rituals of a black widow spider and the egg sac
that the female produces, check out this National Geographic video.
Are spiders good parents?
Well, what we want to know is do they protect their babies from predators? The
black widow female does, so don't try to mess with her. Ever.
What do you call a baby spider?
Baby spiders are called spiderlings.
Of course, when 1,000 come out of an egg sac, the mother would have a
difficult time naming each and remembering who is who since they'd all be
twins (x 100) and look alike. Click here if you want to see lots
of spiderlings. Did you know that spiderlings molt
once (because they grow bigger) inside the egg sac before crawling out.
Are spiders dangerous to humans?
Two spiders can be very dangerous
to humans (especially small children): the black widow spider and the brown
recluse spider. Stay away from both! All other types of spiders in America are
relatively harmless to humans. Of course, if you're a fly, then you'd better
stay away from all spiders just to be safe or you might end up having dinner
with a spider (and being the dinner). Thankfully, no one has died from a bite
from either spider in the past two decades. Check out this spider identification
chart. Read these myths
about spiders. Check out wikipedia's article on spider bites.
What are the symptoms of a black widow bite and what should you do (go to
hospital). Did you know that there have not been any confirmed deaths
to humans from tarantula bites? It's true. They hurt like a bee sting, but
aren't deadly to humans.
How do people get rid of
spiders? People step on spiders to kill
them. Or, they use poisons.
Where do spiders live?
Spiders can live almost anywhere that they can find food. They live in places
where bugs crawl or fly by (so that they can capture and eat them. They live
in hidden spots where bugs travel (under logs, in corners, in branches, under
houses. Do they live on the World Wide Web (www)? Read this digital book to
How long do spiders live?
Do they live for a day, a week, a year, or lots of years? Black widows live
for up to 3 years, while tarantulas may live for 10-12 years.
How do spiders affect plants,
animals, and people? Spiders help
humans by eating
the bugs that annoy us. Without spiders, there would be too many annoying
insects flying around our food, biting us, and getting in our way. Of course,
they also eat non-pests that help gardens (bees, butterflies, preying
mantises, and some beetles).
What predators hunt spiders?
As tough as a spider is, there are many
other creatures that prey on spiders. Wasps are a formidable opponent (video).
Other spiders will kill a smaller spider and eat it. Reptiles, birds, and some
mammals hunt them, too.
How do spiders protect
themselves from an enemy? There are
four ways to protect
themselves. They can try to escape (RUN). They can hide (camouflage). They
can try to frighten them with an aggressive stance. They can attack, using
Where are spider ears?
Spiders do not have ears. They can tell
where a sound comes from by the movement of air on the hair
on its legs.
Do spiders see well?
Yes and No. Spiders that build webs to catch prey have bad eyesight. They use
the hairs on their legs to feel the vibrating web (signaling that a bug has
gotten stuck). Jumping spiders have excellent vision,
as they need to see their prey.
Do spiders like to eat flies?
Well, that would mean that they'd have
taste receptors like humans. Humans
have taste receptors on their tongues: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Spiders
use taste-sensitive receptors on their legs to see if a captured prey is
How big are spiders?
The Goliath spider can be as big as a
dinner plate. That's BIG! Most spiders you'll see are smaller than one of your
knuckles. The smallest spider in the world is the Patu
digua from Borneo and it is as big as the head of a pin. That's tiny.
Do spiders live by themselves
or with others? Do they live by
themselves or with other spiders? Are they friendly to each other or do they
chase each other away?
Are spiders active during the
daylight or darkness? They are active
In the daytime, they tend to hide in holes, cracks, or other safe places away
What do you call someone who
studies spiders? They are called an arachnologist.
A scientist who studies bugs is called an enomologist. Here are some more
websites: If you'd like to learn what an arachnologist does, then read more
E. Cushing. A person who studies poisons is a toxicologist. They might be
needed to determine the type of spider that bit someone.
- - Types of spiders
This is a seriously dangerous
spider, with venom that might make you sick or die. Never touch one. Ever!
Thankfully, the smaller male does not bite. They're easy to find, as they're
jet black with a red hour-glass shape on their belly. They're called "widow"
because the female is prone to eating the male after mating (so they usually
run away after mating, quickly). She'll try to escape if you get too close,
unless she's guarding her egg sac. She may live for up to 3 years.
This spider is quite dangerous, but you won't see it much. They're abdomen is
dark gray or brown. They tend to bite when disturbed, so stay away from places
where they might hide. They're more common in Texas and nearby states, not
These large, hairy spiders are relatively non-dangerous to humans. In fact,
lots of kids have them as pets. One even lived for One
even lived for 30 years. Most are brown or black. Many have bald spots on
the back end of their abdomen, as they will rub the hairs off the hind end to
irritate the eyes of predators. They live alone and are generally nocturnal.
Click here to see a short video
spiders scare the willies out of most people, but they're only dangerous to
you if you're a fly. The yellow & black argiope
is quite beautiful. Cornell Univ has several photos
of common garden spiders.
These acrobats of the spider world are amazing when seen on video
or. Check out hundreds of photos
or this image of a jumping spider leaping
toward a bee.
Goliath bird-eating spider:
These are the largest
spiders in the world, as large as a dinner plate, but you won't see one in
your back yard (unless you live in a South American jungle).
These spiders are indeed kind mothers,
carrying their spiderlings on their backs.
These quick spiders can dart into the water
after prey (insect, minnow).
The crab spider crawls like a crab, with crab-like legs. More
facts. And more. And more.
Well, the truth is, we humans keep mixing up these many-legged creatures.
There are two types of daddy longlegs. One is a spider and one is not. 1) One
daddy long legs is a spider, with the very long legs. It often builds its nest
under houses or in cellars.
When sensing danger, it'll shake its web, making it difficult for the predator
to see it. 2) The other type is not a spider, though it looks like one, with
long, long legs. Watch this video
to see one in action, eating aphids and escaping from a hungry beetle.
Funnel web grass spider:
This is one of the most common spiders you'll see outside. They're harmless to
humans. They build a large funnel-shaped web that is not
sticky. When a bug lands on it, the spider rushes out, bites it, and drags
it into its lair. Mmmmmm. Dinner. They have 4-8 eyes.
- - Photos
& Videos of spiders -
1. Diagram: Check out this diagram
of a spider's body parts. Here's the head, the belly button, and the nose
2. Videos: The BBC
has posted several insect and spider videos that you might want to see. Or,
watch a four-minute video on spiders, with lots of close-up
shots of spiders walking, catching bugs, building webs. Or, check out this
collection of 57
spider videos at Fotosearch.
3. Animation: Watch this cool animation
about spiders. Or, if you want to laugh, watch this animation where a spider
will follow your
pointer, wherever you move your cursor on the page. It's funny to watch.
Or, if you'd like to see a very cool animated movie about a spider,
a ladybug, and lots of flies, well, then this short movie is what you want
to see. Or, watch a spider build
a web. Or, check out these virtual
insects and spiders to see a 3-D computerized version.
4. Microscope: Look through an electron
microscope at a spider's eye.
5. Photos: Here are over one
thousand photos at fotosearch.com. More
photos. Or, if you'd like to see a tree
completely covered in a spider's web, then check this out. Or, look at a
organs. Or, links
to lots of sites with spider photos. Or, if you'd like to see lots of photos
of webs: webs: more
webs, and hundreds
6. Graphic photo: Take a look at the spinnerets
that produce a spider's web.
7. Photo slideshow: Look at this slideshow
of an egg sac being built
by a spider.
8. Clipart: Here is some clipart
on spiders, mites, and scorpions.
9. PowerPoint: Check out these PowerPoint
slideshows made for kids (and some made by kids). Here's "Amazing
Facts About Arachnids" PowerPoint, created by a third-grade class. Or,
PowerPoint made by Pioneer's Schools. Or, this "Helpful Hunters"
PowerPoint. Or, this "Insects
& Spiders" PowerPoint. Or this cute animation
to use in a PowerPoint.
10. Charts: USA Spider Identification
- - Fun spider activities - -
Games: 1) Play Super
Hyper Spider Typer is an addictive typing game that will drive you crazy
with happiness. 2) Play the spitting
spider game. 3) Or, play this game
with spiders. 4) Count
Jigsaw Puzzles: Four spider puzzles
, or a spiderweb
jigsaw puzzle with 63 pieces, or a very challenging web
puzzle, or a 16-piece tarantula
puzzle, or a challenging puzzle of spiders and ladybugs,
or a 6-piece (very easy) spider jigsaw
puzzle, or another spider web
(with 12, 48, 88, or 100 pieces)
Coloring pages: Here are 14 spider pages
that you can print and
color. Or, 14 pages of Miss
Spider coloring pages. Or, more coloring
spider pages. Or, a spider in a web.
Crossword: A short, interactive spider crossword
puzzle (6 words).
Postcards: Make a postcard
Quizzes: Take a quiz
at BrainPop on spiders.
Comics: Here are 30
comics about spiders.
- - 10 spider facts - -
1. Spiderlings are colorless.
2. There are almost 40,000 species of
spiders on this planet.
3. Most spiders have poor eyesight.
4. Some people eat tarantulas. Mmmmmmmmm.
5. Spiders don't chew their food. They
slurp it up like a milkshake.
6. Spiders have lots of hairs on their body
to sense the movement of prey.
7. The spider's exoskeleton does not grow as it
gets bigger, so it must molt (shed its skin).
8. Spiders have a heart and lungs.
9. Spiders travel by foot (walking), but some
travel by ballooning (letting a stream of silk go into the air and
using it as a balloon to ride the wind).
10. Spiders are your friend because they
eat annoying pests (flies).
- - famous spiders - -
1. Charlotte: A classroom
in New York has a website devoted to this friend of Wilbur. Here are some sentences
about spiders from the book.
2. Itsy-Bitsy Spider: Listen to the song
or print the sheet
music for the song. This popular nursery rhyme has many versions
posted at You Tube. You can see the lyrics of lots of nursery rhymes in
English & Spanish
at this website.
3. Old Mother Hubbard's spider: The lyrics
for this nursery thyme can be found here. Jack Hartmann sang this song for
kids, and here is part of the song.
4. Spiderman's radioactive spider: When Peter
Parker got bit by a radioactive spider, it transferred its strength and
awareness of enemies to him, helping him become a great super hero.
5. Aragog: Hagrid raised this giant
spider from an egg, but had to let it go in a nearby forest.
6. Ananse: Ananse, or Anansi, is a
character in a lot of African
tales. He's part human and part spider, often used to explain something
natural (in a magical or supernatural way). Wikipedia
has a description of this character. Here's a cute diagram
of how the man became the spider-man.
7. Old lady who swallowed a spider:
Remember that song
about the old lady who swallowed a fly, and a spider, "that wriggled and
jiggled and wiggled insider her"?
8. Miss Spider: from the book series.
9. The spider from the book Diary of a Spider (and
Diary of a Fly, and Diary of a Worm) by Doreen Cronin
- - spider stories - -
Stories written by kids: Here are eight
stories made by students in Australia. "Spider on the ceiling"
is a cute story. "Do spiders live on the world
wide web?" Find out.
Anansi Stories (African): There are many
stories about Anansi (or Ananse), brought to the Americans in the horrible
slave trade, told and retold in the new continents, some keeping to their
earlier versions and others changing. "How stories
came to earth" (Anansi), or "Anansi and the Tiger"
, or "Anansi and the Banana
Tree", or "Anansi Does the Impossible",
or "Anansi and His Six Sons",
or "Anansi and Firefly",
or "Anansi Tries to steal All the Wisdom
of the World", or "Ashanti and the Turtle"
Poems: Here are poems
about spiders that students wrote. And, more poems
Songs: "I Wouldn't Harm a Fly"
A story from China: The Myth
of the Spider,
Greek stories: In Greek mythology, Athena
is the goddess of wisdom and a great sewer. Arachne,
a poor girl, bragged about how good she could sew and... Here is a version of
And, shorter version of her story
and some questions.
Native American stories: Here is a story
from New Mexico called "Spider Creation."
And another called "How Grandmother Spider Brought Fire
to the People." And, a story about leadership in "The Spider's Eyes."
Buddhist story: Here's a spider story that
speaks about how we treat others when we have the upper hand called "The
American stories: Here is an A-Z
story book on Charlotte's Web.
- - spider vocabulary - -
abdomen: the belly of a spider in which the
vital organs reside
arachnid: a spider
arachnophobia: the fear of spiders
camouflage: to use the coloration of one's
surroundings to hide
cephalothorax: the combined chest & head
region of a spider
exoskeleton: the hard outer covering of a
spider or insect
fangs: the hollow tubes that spiders use to
molt: to shed one's skin
pedipalps: extra hands near the fangs of a
predator: the hunter
prey: the hunted
silk: the sticky substance that comes from
a spider's spinnerets
spiderling: a baby spider
spinnerets: the tubes through which spiders
web: the sticky trap a spider spins to
= Study these vocabulary words then take Clark's quiz
to see if you've learned about the spider.
More websites on vocabulary: one,
- - Quizzes on spiders - -
1. Clark's quiz on spider vocabulary
2. Spider bites
and insect stings (Mayo Clinic)
spiders quiz (classroom)
spiders quiz (classroom)
5. 10 questions spiders
6. Spider sense
quiz (soft schools.com)
7. 6-question quiz on spiders
Web 5-question quiz (teacher vision)
9. 5-question spider
quiz (green nature.com)
10. An article
on spiders and a 15-question quiz (English-zone)
11. A 12-question quiz on spider body
parts = very challenging
12. 10-question quiz on Creepy-crawly
13. 10-question Creepy-crawly
14. Take MyQuiz
10-question quiz on this website
- - School websites (.k12) - -
1. Different kinds
of spiders (California)
2. Spiders unit
4. Amazing Insects
5. Let's Learn about Spiders
6. Spider Specialists
Central (New York)
9. Spider facts
15. Spider Resouces
- - College websites (.edu) - -
1. Spider Facts
2. Spide Facts
(Florida State Univ)
3. Spider Information
(Univ of Arizona)
(Kennesaw State University)
(Univ of Riverside)
(Univ of Arkansas)
Misconceptions, and Superstitions about Spiders (Univ of Washington)
(Palomar Community College)
Longlegs myth (UC Riverside)
- - Government websites (.gov)
out! A spider! (US Dept of Agriculture)
Long-legs Spider Fact File (Australian Museum)
aid for a spider bite (Georgia Dept of Human Resources)
Widow (Dept of Natural Resources)
Recluse (Dept of Natural Resources)
6. Insects, Spiders,
Centipedes, Millipedes (US Dept of the Interior)
Missouri Spiders (Missouri Dept of Conservation)
8. Spiders: Introduction
& General Information (Australia)
Spider (US Dept of the Interior)
spiders (Dept of Public Health)
- - Organizations websites
(.org) - -
2. Insect & Spider Collections
of the World (bishop museum.org)
3. Spider bites
(CA Poison Control System.org)
4. Spider silk and webs
of the Forest (pbs.org)
6. Getting to know
7. Spider pavilion
(Natural History Museum of LA.org)
(Denver Museum of Nature & Science.org)
things about spiders (american human.org)
- - Commercial websites (.com)
1. Facts and More Facts
about Spiders (tooter4kids.com)
2. Insects & Spiders
of New Zealand (land care research.co)
3. Insects & Spiders
5. 10 Myths
about Spiders (Articles 2K.com)
- - more websites - -
1. 2,500 links at Arachnology
Sources: All of the information on this website was
acquired through using Google to search for information and activities related
Spider image acquired from the Univ of Ark: http://www.uark.edu/~dksander/spideran.gif
- - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
- - - - -
- - -
Advice to my students on authoring
their own Animal page
1. Use primary sources whenever possible.
These are sources with video or images of the animal you're studying. These
are web sites that are built by large organizations (like the discovery
channel). You'll come across student websites and adult websites, but these
are secondary sources (and less reliable in their information).
2. Be aware that some websites lack scientific
facts. Or, they include a few scientific facts while trying to promote a
hidden agenda. Not everything that you see at a website is supported by
science. Be skeptical and don't believe everything you read. Look at other
websites to see if they also make the same claim. Information that is found on
a lot of websites has more validity than information found only on one
3. Use Videos that demonstrate a behavior
of your animal. Don't post funny or dangerous videos just because you find
them online. The most popular and prolific use of videos is hosted by You
Tube. Here, you'll find many videos of your animal. However, any video that
encourages violence or humor at the expense of your animal should NOT be
included on your page. If you include a video, explain what it tells about
your animal and be sure that it is factual (not humorous).
4. You are expected to be the EXPERT on
your animal. Every website that you link needs to be read in its entirety by
you. You should know the facts it tells. Expect me to quiz you on any links
5. Do not copy & paste information.
Read what a website says about your animal. Then, put it into your own words.
I can easily tell the difference between how you speak and how website authors
6. If you find coloring pages or fun games about
your animal, be sure that they're appropriate for other students to do. Make
sure that there are not any immodest advertisements on the page or images in
the game. If there is a lot of violence in the game, then it isn't appropriate
to post on my website. I will delete any games that I find inappropriate. If
you're uncertain about a game, then ask me before posting it to your page.
7. Use my page as a guide for what you