There are more than 4,000 different species of spiders in Canada and America. There have been spiders for 300 million years ago, before the first man appeared. WOW! Spiders are not insects for they have 8 legs and insects have 6. Spiders have 8 eyes too. They have 2 parts, the head and the abdomen. Where do they get the nice sticky thread silk? It comes from their abdomen. They have the strongest silk in the world.
ABOUT ALL SPIDERS:
Spiders are good hunters, spending most of their lives hunting. Spiders spin a new web every day. Also another word for spider is “arachnid”. Scorpions, ticks and mites are also arachnids. In warm places there are spiders that live up to 20 to 30 years.
In an ordinary field there are about 2 million spiders catching flies and other pesky insects, which would make our lives very uncomfy. Spiders have loads of enemies but they have camouflage, or they can hide. Their most main enemy is the wasp and the ant.
The male spider the way he mates is he does signals. He dances for her until they mate. If the male is wise enough, he’ll scurry away. Because if the female is hungry she might not know the signal, and she might gobble him up into itsy bitsy little shreds.
The females are great mothers. The wolf spider carries the eggs wherever she goes, then they hatch and they travel on her back. In a week or two, the spiderlings let out little threads. This is called ballooning, which is kind of like sailing. If they could talk I would bet they would say, “We are going to go wherever the wind may take us”.
One kind of spider, the Aranea, makes a web that looks like it’s a bottomless pit. She goes to a hiding place. She knows when her food comes by vibration. She wraps the insect up in her silk. Then she sucks out its blood. Part of the Aranea’s cousins is the Agelena spider, who in her life spins a web not like Aranea’s, but like a really dirty handkerchief that’s hanging up.
Most spiders spin sticky stuff but since they have oily legs, they do not get caught in the sticky stuff.
The black widow spider’s bite is very dangerous and could kill you
NOT ALL SPIDERS WEAVE WEBS THOUGH:
Trap-door spiders slightly open their door to their underground tunnel, when a fly comes, they snatch it and slam the door.
Crab spiders are camouflage spiders who walk sideways and backwards just like the crab.
Tropical spiders are very pretty, they are so pretty that you might think they are a nice jewel that you can wear. But you might be scared when you get up close enough. They have better eyesight than the ones who spin webs because they have 8 BIG eyes.
The wolf spider doesn’t spin webs. It actually lives on the ground and it goes as fast as lightening.
The jumping spider is like a cat, it will wait for it’s victim and then it will pounce. For some reason they remind me of Weird Al.
UP CLOSE LOOK AT TARANTULAS:
Tarantulas mostly live in the desert or in the jungle. Most tarantulas do not need much space, they dig small burrows. They’ll even dig them bigger, or they’ll dig new burrows when they grow too big for their burrow.
They are hairy spiders, most weigh 1 ounce. Since people are always more afraid of tarantulas than regular spiders because of tarantulas big hairiness, they should not be because tarantulas are shy and spend most of their time hiding.
The names for some tarantulas describe what they do or where they live. The Mexican red knee lives in Mexico and its knees are sort of red.
The Goliath is the biggest tarantula. It can grow as big as a dinner plate. It weighs 4 ounces.
ALL spiders and tarantulas have fangs. When the spider’s fangs move they move like scissors. But tarantulas have fangs that go down like little hooks. They kill their food with poisonous fangs. Most tarantulas venom does not work on humans. But some tarantulas have so powerful a venom that people die from it. That is why you should be afraid of them, not because of their hairiness.
Most adult tarantulas eat only about once a week. Since other spiders weave webs, they need to feel when their food comes and don’t need good eyesight. But tarantulas have excellent eyesight for catching food because they don’t spin webs. They do not feel the vibration of the prey, they see it.
Shedding is the most dangerous time in any tarantula’s life. For when they are laying down and they are done with their old skin, their new skin is very soft until it hardens. So while that process is going on the tarantula is a very good snack for any predator.
Tarantulas have an egg sac that looks like a golf ball (and a fuzzy one at that). But in the egg sac the tarantula lays as many as 700 eggs. When the spiderlings are hatched they look nothing like their mother or father. They actually look like little walking eggs.
And another interesting fact: tarantulas do not play the computer, and they do not dance the tango, but they love to play chess.
Craig, Janet. Amazing World of Spiders. Troll Associates. Mahwah, 1990.
Storad, Conrad J. Tarantulas. Lerner Publications Company. Minneapolis, 1998.