Spiders have through the ages inspired a sense of horror and unnecessary fear. Many people know the word ‘arachnophobia’ which means the fear of spiders. Spiders do not feed on human beings and they also very rarely bite. Humans are generally bitten by insects such as fleas and mosquitoes. Spiders do, however, bite and kill flies and other insects and nearly all spiders have fangs and poisonous glands which they use to paralyse prey. Some spiders create webs to trap prey and some spiders stalk prey, while others jump and ambush their prey.
There are approximately 600 different species of spider in England and almost half of them are very small indeed (less than 3mm long). Spiders are arthropods and not insects. All spiders have eight legs (insects have six). A spider’s body has two parts (insects have 3) and also spiders do not have antennae, but bristly hairs on their bodies and legs instead and these hairs are used to pick up signals and messages.
We have described 5 spiders in our website and we will be writing about the Daddy Long Legs, the Jumping Spider and the Water spider soon.