Spitting spiders

I ypically crcam- or yellow-brown with black markings, and with black-banded legs, the spitting spider has only six eyes, and the first pair of slender legs arc usually longer than the others. At first glance, the carapace of the cephalothorax looks almost the same size as the abdomen. Seen in side view, the carapace is characteristically domed toward the rear, and the dome houses large glands that produce a sticky glue. This spiders common name comes from its unique prey-capturing technique. It does not spin webs, but uses a rapid, side-to-side movement of the chcliccrac to "spit" two zigzag streams of its glue at prey from close range, literally sticking it down.

• I A\ \i CYCLE The female carries a pale and knobbly egg sac around underneath her body until the young emerge.

• Occ:i JRRENi :E Worldwide, except in Australia and New Zealand. Mostly in warm regions. Under rocks and in buildings.

• REMARK All the species in this family belong to the genus Sty lodes.

SOTODES THORACICA, native to North America and Europe, is a darkly marked spider that is often found inside buildings. The male is slightly smaller than the female.

céphalothorax cream abdomen with nearly same size dark, symmetrical long, brown quite broad

slx-eyed crab spiders

Also known as brown spiders, because of their general body color, most species have a violin-shaped mark on their carapace and a distinctive longitudinal groove. There arc six eyes, arranged in three pairs. Both the body and legs have distinct hairs. These spiders make irregular, sticky, shcctlike webs.

• I J EE CY( TE The females produce between 30 and 300 eggs per sac and keep the sacs out of the way, at the rear of the web. Some species live for several years, adding to their webs as they grow.

• OCCl JRRENCE Warm regions of North and South America, and also in Europe and Africa. In a wide variety of habitats, including woods, scrubland, citrus groves, gardens, and houses. In shady locations among rocks and bark, and sometimes in human dwellings.

• REMARK The bite of six-eyed crab spiders can be extremely dangerous, causing tissue degeneration.

long, brown quite broad iAiXOSd.I.FS hi //sy/v.s, a fiddle-back spider, may bite humans and produce unpleasant lesions that arc slow to heal. It is common in Europe and has been introduced to Australia.

0rder Arankak


No. of species gQQ

red hairs on tibiae second walking leg first walking teg third walking leg

very hairy tarsi pedipalps robust, hairy body

A HRACHYPELMA EMILIA, the Mexican Red-legged Tarantula, is a large, ground-dwelling species.

Mark. hairy femora spinnerets fourth walking leg •

beige and brown leg markings

0rder Arankak


No. of species gQQ


Some larger tarantulas are also called bird-eating spiders. These large, hairy spiders arc usually pale brown to black, with markings in shades of pink, red, brown, or black. The fangs bite vertically, not horizontally. 'They have eight small eyes, grouped together at the front of the carapace. Most tarantulas hunt on the ground by night for arthropods and small vertebrates such as frogs and mice. They use their large chelicerae to crush their prey, pour digestive juices over the body, and then suck up the resulting liquid.

• I JFK CYCLE Some species live in trees, whereas others make burrows in the ground. Females lay a batch of eggs in the burrow. An egg sac can be the size of a golf ball and contain 1,000 eggs The spiderlings stay in the burrow until their first molt, after which they disperse to find food and to make their own burrows.

• Occurrence Worldwide, especially in South America. In subtropical and tropical areas, in deserts, forests, and a variety of open habitats.

• REMARK Many tarantulas live for 10-30 years and some arc kept as pets. Because many are so large, it is widely assumed that their bites arc fatal. Some have potent venom but many do not, relying on size to subdue prey. Many of the most poisonous species arc relatively small.

red hairs on tibiae second walking leg very hairy tarsi first walking teg pedipalps third walking leg spinnerets

POECILOTHER/A REGA LIS, from Sri Lanka, is the world's largest tree-dwelling spider. It eats various insects, including roosting moths, and small reptiles.

robust, hairy body

A HRACHYPELMA EMILIA, the Mexican Red-legged Tarantula, is a large, ground-dwelling species.

fourth walking leg •

Mark. hairy femora beige and brown leg markings



comb-loothi) spiders

Also allied cobweb spiders, these species are brown to black, often with markings and stout bristles on their hindlegs. The abdomen is very rounded. Most species are active at night, and some hunt for prey on the ground. I hey make irregular webs in foliage, cracks, crevices, and debris, or under buildings.

200-250 eggs, attached to the web in a sac.

After their first molt, the spiderlings make their own webs.

• ()CCl HtHENCE Worldwide. In vegetation, under stones, in leaf litter, and in and around buildings.

• ItEMAItk The infamous widow spiders (including the notorious female American Black Widow Spider) and the Australian Red-back Spider belong to this family. These pea-sized black spiders have bright crimson markings on the underside of the abdomen. Their strong venom can kill, but a fast-acting antivenin can be given by injection.

• slender legs with a few fine spines shiny all-black female

• very rounded, globe-shaped abdomen

/ATRODICTl S MAC I lA.S, the venomous Black Widow Spider, is found in many tropical and subtropical countries.

Length i/lh_yHjn (0.2-1.5cm), most under %in (lem) Feedin^ habits #



No. of species 2 SOO

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