Encyclopedia Article


An eight-legged air-breathing anthropod that can inject venom or weave silk webs for ensnaring their prey. Spiders spin webs from glands on their abdomens. Female spiders are generally significantly larger than the males. With a strong sense of touch and sight, spiders are distinguished from other insects by having eight, rather than six legs, and a body segmented into two parts instead of three. There are over 40,000 species of spider, they live on every continent but Antarctica and all but one species are predatory meat-eaters. Spiders migrate via a technique called ballooning, where longs strands of silk carry them on the wind. Fascinating creatures, spiders have the capability of amputating their own legs, and shorter legs will grow in their place.

Photo Credit: 

"An orb weaver producing silk from its spinnerets" by fir0002 is licensed under CC BY-NC.