What is a spider?

Answer

Spiders are members of the animal kingdom.

Spiders (order Araneae) are animals belonging to the phylum Arthropoda, together with crustaceans, insects, millipedes, centipedes and other animals with distinctly segmented bodies (but not worms). Spiders share the class Arachnida with mites, ticks, scorpions, harvestmen (“daddy longlegs”) and other animals with eight legs. It is important to also know what spiders are not. Spiders are not insects or “bugs”, even though they are distantly related, and often grouped as “bugs” in conversation.

Quick facts.

  • All spiders have 8 legs.
  • Worldwide, there are over 45,000 known species.
  • There are no spiders in Antarctica.
  • Spiders have fangs that can inject venom.
  • Spiders are feared by many, but only a select few are known to have venom that is potentially dangerous to humans.
  • Spiders do not have antennae, insects do.
  • All spiders are predators, except for a single known species Bagheera kiplingi, which is herbivorous.

Additional Questions

General Spider Questions

Diet

Spider Webs

Spider Bites

Reproduction