Brown Recluse Spiders: Facts, Bites — Symptoms, Live Science
Brown Recluse Spiders: Facts, Bites & Symptoms
- 1 Brown Recluse Spiders: Facts, Bites & Symptoms
- 2 Appearance
- 3 Classification/taxonomy
- 4 Habits
- 5 Brown recluse bite
- 6 Treatment
- 7 Types of Spiders & Spider Facts
- 8 Spider anatomy
- 9 Spider webs
- 10 Spider bites
- 11 Arachnophobia
- 12 Classification/taxonomy
- 13 Suborders
- 14 Brown Recluse Spider
- 15 Brown Recluse Spider – Loxosceles reclusa
- 16 Types of spiders. Description, names, photos, structural features and behavior of species of spiders
- 17 Atypical spiders
- 18 Leg-footed spiders
- 19 Social spiders
- 20 Poison spiders
- 21 House spiders
The brown recluse spider is well-known for its appearance and poisonous bite. It is the most common and widespread of the brown spiders, but it is found only in the south and central United States.
Brown recluse spiders live in a region comprising Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama and parts of Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. According to the entomology department at the University of California, Riverside, if you do not live in those areas, «it is highly unlikely that you have a recluse spider. It is possible but incredibly unlikely.»
This map shows the range of different species of recluse spiders, including the brown recluse (reclusa, in red); Texas recluse (devia, in yellow); Big Bend recluse (blanda, in green); Apache recluse (apachea, in light blue); Arizona recluse (arizonica, in blue); and desert recluse (deserta, in purple). (Image credit: University of California, Riverside)
The brown recluse is part of the Loxosceles genus of spiders. Members of this group have violin-shaped markings on the top of their cephalothorax (fused head and thorax) and may be informally referred to as fiddleback or violin spiders, according to The Ohio State University Extension Entomology Department.
The brown recluse’s violin marking can vary in intensity depending on the age of the spider, with mature spiders typically having dark violin shapes, according to The Ohio State University. The violin shape points toward the spider’s bulbous abdomen. The violin shape is easy to misinterpret, so it is best to look at the eyes when determining if a spider is a brown recluse.
The recluse’s eyes are one of its most distinctive physical characteristics. «They have six eyes, instead of eight like most spiders,» said entomologist Christy Bills, invertebrate collections manager at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Other types of spiders have eight eyes arranged in rows of four. Recluses, however, have six equal-size eyes arranged in three pairs, called dyads, in a semicircle around the front of the cephalothorax.
Another distinguishing characteristic of the brown recluse spider is its uniformly colored abdomen (though the shade of brown varies from spider to spider) covered in fine hairs, which give it a velvety appearance. Their long, thin legs are also covered in fine hairs. According to the Integrated Pest Management Program at The University of California, Berkeley, the scientific name Loxosceles means «slanted legs,» and refers to the fact that recluse spiders hold their legs in a slanting position when at rest. Bills also noted that the brown recluse’s legs do not have spines, only fine hairs.
Ohio State University reports that the brown recluse is typically about three-eighths of an inch long and about three-sixteenths of an inch wide (about 1 centimeter long and half a centimeter wide), with males being slightly smaller than females but possessing longer legs.
According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), the taxonomy of brown recluse spiders is:
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Subkingdom: Bilateria
- Infrakingdom: Protostomia
- Superphylum: Ecdysozoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Chelicerata
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
- Family: Sicariidae
- Genus & species: Loxosceles reclusa
The brown recluse gets its name from its color and its «shy nature,» Bills said. «Most spiders go out of their way to avoid humans, which makes sense, considering we are thousands of times larger than they are and don’t have a great record of behaving politely toward them.»
Brown recluses often hide in dark, secluded places, like under porches or deep in closets. The brown recluse thrives in man-made areas, and may be found under trash cans, tires, etc. It is primarily nocturnal and lays its eggs from May to July.
Brown recluse spiders get around by hitchhiking on furniture boxes and other items from infestedstructures, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. They are well adapted for establishing themselves by hitchhiking. They are long-lived, can go for many months without eating, and are adapted to the hot, dry conditions found in many structures. What’s more, a female brown recluse needs to mate only once to produce eggs throughout her life, and can produce 150 or more spiderlings in a year. Thus, a single female hitchhiking into a structure is all it takes to establish an infestation. The need to inspect items before moving them in is clear.
Once established within a structure, brown recluses are often difficult to control. Though hundreds of brown recluses may be present in a house, they may not be easily observed because of their reclusive, nocturnal habits.
Brown recluse bite
The brown recluse has a venomous bite, and anyone bitten should seek immediate emergency medical help, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Like most spiders, the brown recluse typically only bites when disturbed — though it is possible to inadvertently threaten them. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Program reports that this may happen if a spider is caught in bedding or clothing.
«People react differently to bites,» Bills said. According to The Integrated Pest Management Program at UC Berkeley, 90 percent of bites heal without medical attention or scarring. Reactions to a brown recluse bite vary depending on the amount of venom injected and the individual’s sensitivity levels, reports The Ohio State University. Some people may experience a delayed reaction, others an immediate reaction, and others no reaction at all. Many brown recluse bites leave a small red mark that heals quickly, and the vast majority of bites do not leave scars.
For those with higher sensitivity levels, a small white blister appears at the bite site soon after the bite. The tissue may become hard. Lesions are dry, blue-gray or blue-white patches with ragged edges surrounded by redness. This color pattern has yielded the nickname «red, white and blue,» and, in severe reactions, the bite site can develop a «volcano lesion,» according to The Ohio State University. The damaged tissue becomes gangrenous and leaves an open wound that can be as large as a human hand. It can take eight weeks or longer for full recovery, and scars may result.
According to the NIH, symptoms of a brown recluse bite may include itching, chills, fever, nausea, sweating and a general feeling of discomfort or sickness.
After being bitten by a brown recluse spider, a 10-year-old girl in Mexico required two medical procedures to remove blackened, dead tissue from her leg. (Image credit: The New England Journal of Medicine ©2013)
There is no effective commercial antivenin. If you are bitten, the NIH recommends calling 911 or poison control or getting to an emergency room immediately.
The NIH says you should wash the area of the bite with soap and water, then wrap ice in a washcloth and place it on the bite area for 10 minutes. Remove the washcloth for 10 minutes, and repeat the process.
Then, go immediately to the emergency room and bring the spider, if possible, for identification purposes.
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Types of Spiders & Spider Facts
All spiders are predatory eight-legged creatures that have organs to spin silk at the back ends of their bodies. They are the largest part of the Arachnid family, a group that also includes scorpions and ticks. Spiders all have the ability to bite with venom-injecting fangs to kill prey and nearly all of them are poisonous (even if it’s just a little).
There are about 40,000 types of spiders in the world, living on every continent except Antarctica. And they’re not newbies: fossilized spiders have been found in Carboniferous rocks dating back 318 million years.
Spiders have two body segments, the abdomen and the cephalothorax. The first, or front part, is the cephalothorax, which is formed by the fusing of the head and thorax, according to Jo-Anne Nina Sewlal, an arachnologist at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. The cephalothorax contains the eyes, mouth and legs.
The mouth has several parts. The spider’s jaws, called the chelicerae, are tipped with fangs, according to entomologists at the University of Kentucky. These appendages are used to hold prey while the spider injects venom. Behind the jaws are the labium and labrum, which work together to direct food into the spider’s mouth.
Between the chelicerae and the first pair of legs are the pedipalps, which look like tiny legs but are actually similar to antennae, and are used to sense objects the spider encounters, Sewlal said. However, «they are used by some species in prey capture and feeding as well as in shaping their webs.»
Pedipalps are also used in mating and are a good way to tell males and females apart. «The tips in males are enlarged as they are used to transfer sperm to the female, while in the female, the tips of the pedipalps remain undifferentiated,» Sewlal said.
Most spiders have six or eight eyes, according to the University of Kentucky. Some spiders can only see the difference between light and shadow. Their eyes are considered «simple,» as they don’t have compound lenses as some insects do.
A spider’s abdomen is where most of its important internal organs are located, such as the reproductive system, lungs and digestive tract. Also on the abdomen are the spinnerets, through which a spider produces its silken web.
Spider silk is made of strong strands of protein. It is the strongest-known natural fiber, according to the San Diego Zoo. Its tensile strength — the greatest stress a material will tolerate before breaking — is greater than bone and half the strength of steel.
According to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, individual species can produce up to seven distinct types of silk, each with a specialized function. Some spiders use their webs to trap prey; others line their burrows with it.
Spiders are grouped according to the type of web they make, according to the San Diego Zoo. Groups include tangle-web spiders, orb-web spiders, funnel-web spiders and nursery-web spiders.
According to the Australian Museum, spiders capture prey using a variety of methods. They can trap small insects in sticky webs, lasso them with sticky bolas, or use their vibration-sensing skills to chase prey down. Spider guts are too narrow to take solids, so they liquidize their food by flooding it with digestive enzymes and grinding it up with short appendages.
Even though all spiders can bite, most of them do no more harm to a human than a bee sting or a mosquito bite. Most spiders with a life-threatening bite are quite shy and attack only when they feel threatened. According to Spider Physiology and Behaviour, Volume 41 (Advances in Insect Physiology), there were only about 100 deaths from spider bites during the 20th century.
According to Sewlal, spider venoms work on one of two fundamental principles: they either attack the nervous system with neurotoxic venom, or attack tissues around the bite with necrotic venom. Sewlal explained that neurotoxic venom works in two ways: by overstimulating «the production of the neurotransmitters . which can cause the entire nervous system to become paralyzed,» and by blocking «nerve impulses to the muscles. This has the result of causing the muscles to cramp and become rigid. It also has the effect of disrupting many bodily functions.» Necrotic venom works by causing «the tissue around the bite to die.»
Researchers are investigating novel uses for spider venom, from an eco-friendly (and bee-friendly) alternative to pesticides, to treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, cardiac arrhythmia and strokes. In addition, spider silk has lots of engineering uses, from body armor to optical communications.
Humans have long had a tumultuous relationship with the eight-legged critters. Arachnophobia, or fear of spiders, is one of the most common phobias. Some statistics show that 50 percent of women and 16 percent of men have this phobia, according to The Wall Street Journal.
According to Mentally Healthy, evolutionary biologists surmise that a modern fear of spiders may be an exaggerated form of an instinctive response that helped early humans to survive. Other scholars think that fear of spiders began in the Middle Ages, when spiders became a cultural scapegoat for inexplicable epidemics of the time, like the plague.
According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), the taxonomy of spiders is:
Can you imagine yourself holding this tarantula? (Image credit: Shane Wilson LinkShutterstock)
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Subkingdom: Bilateria
- Infrakingdom: Protostomia
- Superphylum: Ecdysozoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Chelicerata
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
According to Sewlal, spiders can be divided into two suborders: Mesotelae and Opisthothelae, which contains the infraorders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae.
Mesothelae: «The suborder Mesothelae contains only one family, Liphistiidae,» Sewlal said. «The members of this family are quite distinctive from all other spiders.» She explained that the Mesothelae suborder is so named because its members have their spinnerets located on the middle of the abdomen, on their underside. According to the Australian Museum, these are «primitive spiders»; «modern» spiders have spinnerets toward the back of their abdomens. They also have abdomens segmented similarly to scorpions, Sewlal said.
These small, light spiders reside in Southeast Asia, China and Japan. Though scientists previously thought they lacked venom glands, new research has shown that they do have them.
Opisthothelae: These spiders have spinnerets at the posterior of their abdomens, Sewlal said. She offered some advice on how to distinguish between the infraorders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae: Look at the position of the chelicerae. «Araneomorphs have chelicerae where the tips crisscross each other, while mygalomorphs have chelicerae that point downwards like that of the typical vampire and move in the vertical plane.» Their book lungs — respiratory organs so named because their thin membranes resemble pages in a book — are also different. «Mygalomorph spiders also have two pairs of book lungs while araneomorph spiders have one pair of book lungs or no book lungs at all.»
Here are some other features of the two infraorders.
Mygalomorphae: According to Arachne.org, these spiders are generally heavily built and hairy, like tarantulas. They live in burrows, and can prey on creatures as large as frogs, lizards and snails. A few species build webs, but it is not very common. Although most spiders live for at most two years, many mygalomorphae spiders can live up to 25 years in captivity. This type of spider includes the huge goliath birdeater, which can grow up to 1 foot in body length, according to the Conservation Institute.
Araneomorphae: These are the most common of spiders, making up more than 90 percent of all the species, according to Biology of Spiders. Some of the most interesting species include the only known vegetarian spider, the Bagheera kiplingi, as well as the most venomous spider, the Brazilian wandering spider. Scientists have found that the spider needs to inject only 6 micrograms of its venom to kill a 20-gram (0.7 ounces) mouse, and a full venom load is more than 10 times that.
Katherine Gammon contributed to this article.
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Brown Recluse Spider
Brown Recluse Spider – Loxosceles reclusa
The Violin Spider is another common name for the Brown Recluse Spider. They are well known for the look and design that features a type of violin drawing. They only have 6 sets of eyes which is interesting considering others have 8 sets of eyes.
These Spiders are less than 1 inch long. They come in all shades of brown with a medium coloration being the most common. You will also find those out there that are black, cream, or gray. This is why people are often not sure of what type of Spider they happened to see or not.
Their location also affects the type of coloration that they will feature. It is a natural way for them to be able to blend in well with their surrounding area. They need this camouflage to help them be able to successfully hide from predators. They are one of the hairy types of Spiders as well.
The stance that the Brown Recluse Spider is able to show very good posture. The legs are also known to be all on the ground all the time. The only time when this won’t happen is when they are in a posture to show assertiveness. This allows them to lift the front legs so that they can show that they aren’t going to back down from the threats.
They move along at a slow pace though so if they don’t feel that they have to stand up to a threat they won’t. They may move back slowly though so that they can keep a good set of eyes on potential threats around them.
Habitat and Distribution
You will find the Brown Recluse Spider out there in many places. They tend to live in areas where humans haven’t disturbed things for a while. This can mean your shed, your attic, and even a storage unit. They may be outdoors in wood piles or behind various items that you have placed out there but not used for quite some time.
It isn’t uncommon for people in many areas to discover this type of Spider in their home due to the heat that is generated there. This will be very common during the times when the weather outdoors is going to begin to cool down.
Diet and Feeding Habits
Being able to consume a wide selection of food in their natural habitat is encouraging for the Brown Recluse Spider. They don’t have to worry about finding only one time of meal around them. They are mainly going to enjoy fresh kills that get caught up in their webs.
When they get the chance to create a web for live catches they will drop down to it as soon as they can. They don’t want to risk the prey breaking through the web and escaping. Some of the items they will catch include crickets and cockroaches.
Then venom is injected that they will use to help them reduce the tissue consistency of the body. They have to consume only liquid so they will allow the prey to stay there until it gets to a liquefied consistency. Then they will consume what they can, leaving the shells of their prey behind. However, they aren’t opposed to eating what they find that is already dead out there.
There is only a certain period of time when the Brown Recluse Spider will be able to deposit her eggs. This is during the hotter periods of the year – May, June, and July. She may have hundreds of eggs at once time, but she can also hurry and mate twice during that three month span. This is very common so she will have a double batch of eggs per year.
Before mating can take place though the females have to give the males permission. They can be very particular when it comes to which one they will mate with. They will watch various activities by the males that are quite interesting. Some of the males will bring food, they will dance too. These movements can be entertaining with a variety of jumps and spins involved.
Even with him giving his best effort though it may not be enough. Researchers aren’t sure why she will still choose to turn some of them away. About two months after successful mating does occur though they young will arrive. Even though there are a high number of them very few will survive more than a couple of days. Only a small percentage of them will reach the age of 1 year when they will become mature.
Brown recluse Spider – Loxosceles reclusa / Photo taken by Br-recluse-guy
Venomous Bite or Danger to Humans
Many humans don’t care for Spiders at all due to their appearance and their bite. The Brown Recluse Spider has been known to bite humans when they do feel threatened. Yet they aren’t aggressively out there looking for people to inject their venom into. When people leave items out that these Spiders use for habitat it can be a disaster waiting to happen.
There are usually very few instances though reported of humans being bit by this particular type of Spider. Most of the time it has to do with a person putting on an article of clothing or a shoe. The Spider is in there and then they suddenly feel pressure from the person’s body. This is what causes them to panic and to bite.
It is a good idea to check clothing you don’t wear often before you put it on. You never know if there are such Spiders lurking. A quick check is all it takes to save you the agony of bite. However, for most people the bite is nothing serious.
They don’t even realize what happened. There are a few people though that have had some serious allergic reactions. The area swelled up, they broke out, and they had to seek medical treatment.
Bite Treatment or Care
If you do know that you have been bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider you want to wash the area well. This will allow you to reduce the infected area from spreading on the outer part of the skin. Keep a close eye on the flush to see if it turns red or discolored. If such symptoms appear you need to immediately get to a doctor.
The flesh may start to decompose inside if you have a serious allergic reaction to this particular Spider. There is a type antihistamine that can help to reduce breathing problems due to swelling. The sooner they are offered the faster a person can start to recover. Antibiotics as well as pain medications are likely to be given.
Some people have allowed the destruction of red blood cells to continue for so long though that they suffer long term damage. The problems can cause the kidneys to shut down and it can also lead to the body going into a coma. Only in very rare cases has someone died from it.
If you aren’t sure then you should seek treatment to be safe. This is also a good idea if you live quite a ways from the hospital. You should take the Spider with you if you are able. That will allow for positive identification to be made. If that isn’t possible though medical staff can take actions to help prevent serious problems from developing as a precaution.
Types of spiders. Description, names, photos, structural features and behavior of species of spiders
Most of the representatives of the human race consider spiders to be unattractive creatures. But at the same time, they are also mysterious, unlike anyone. Unusual above all spider appearance. Not only that, its structure is very different from us, two-legged. These representatives of the fauna are not even insects, although to many this fact seems strange.
But this is only at first glance, because they have enough differences from all kinds of butterflies and insects. Insects possess six paws, and spiders have as many as eight. The creatures of interest to us survey the environment with an average of eight eyes, and in some cases there may be twelve.
While insects have as many as humans. The organisms described also do not have ears, but perceive sounds through the hairs covering their legs. These subtle formations can also distinguish odors. In addition, spiders do not have antennae, that is, touch antennas that insects have.
Therefore, the heroes of our story are usually called the trivial word «animals», although they do not look like the usual animals. The head and chest of the spiders are the fused front of the body, and the back is called the abdomen. They do not have blood as such, but there is a liquid substance replacing it, apparently transparent and called hemolymph.
The legs of our creatures are built of seven segments, at the joints of which there are six knees. And therefore, in view of these features, they are not just animals, but arachnids, belonging to the extensive type of arthropods. Their body is protected by chitinous shell. At the same time, the property of spiders is interesting from time to time to reset it, replacing it with a new one.
Such periodic transformations are called molts. And it is precisely in such periods that these organisms grow, the body of which is freed from hard integuments, and therefore is able to freely increase in size. In total, more than four tens of thousands of species of such animals are known. Let’s get to know them better.
The life activity of spiders of different species is largely subject to general laws. Although there are always exceptions to any rule. Next will be presented names of species of spiderswho stand out from the total mass of their brothers.
Almost all spiders are predators, and this brings many benefits, since they eat in an abundance of harmful insects. It has already been mentioned that our creatures have eight legs, although the limbs are actually twelve. It’s just that not all of them exist for movement, but perform other functions.
The very first pair of processes is the chelicerae, that is, strongly protruding forward, long jaws connected to poisonous ducts. Through them, substances that not only kill, but also dissolve prey, enter the victim’s body during a bite, making it available for absorption.
The next pair of limbs are pedipalps, designed to capture and push food. It is with the help of such adaptations that these animals feed on protein foods, preferring plant foods. Among the represented predatory community, there is only one species whose members are vegetarians.
Such creatures, called very originally — Bagipirs of Kipling, spend their lives on acacias and feed on growths on the leaves of these plants, rich in nutrients. These are very smart spiders. The males, which stand out from the female half with a voluminous cephalothorax, have green areas with a bluish tint, the edges of which are dark in front and reddish in the back.
And all this beauty is complemented by the amber shade of the paws. The outfit of females abounds in orange, brown and red scales. Such creatures are found in Central America. This variety got its name in honor of the famous character from Kipling’s book. And she belongs to the family of horse spiders.
Its members have excellent vision, and breathing in these organisms is carried out by the trachea and lungs at the same time. In addition, they make wonderful jumps, possessing the ability to hydraulically inflate their paws in order to increase the range of the jump.
Despite the vegetarian inclinations Bagira Kipling, jealously guarding their food areas, are often not particularly polite to relatives. And even in the absence of food they are able to feast on them. But usually spiders, even the most dangerous ones, are not aggressive without reason. However, there are exceptions.
A vivid example of this is the banana spider, which is not only poisonous, but also inadequate in behavior. He can attack anyone who appears in his field of vision, be it an insect, an animal, or a person. The homeland of such creatures should be considered the rainforests of Australia, South America and Madagascar.
Although recently such unhappy spiders are spreading more and more around the world, getting not only to nearby areas, but also to Europe. And travelers move in fruit crates, and most often hide in bananas, therefore they are nicknamed in a similar way.
Such spiders are dull in color under the color of branches and tree bark. They are on average 4 cm in size, and given the very long legs, even about 12 cm. But still this among species of large spiders not the largest. The record holders for the parameters are members of the tarantula family.
A description of one of these unusual creatures, nicknamed Goliath, will be presented at the end of our story. The banana spider itself is from the orbiting family. This means that in the art of weaving openwork nets, lovers of shelter in banana boxes are very successful.
Their web has the correct geometric shape, and its proportional cells increase as you move away from the total center around which circumscribing circles of increasing radius. The basis for them is an adhesive substance secreted by special glands.
Moreover, unlike other members of the family, banana spiders have as many as seven glands for weaving cobwebs, and not one, as expected. Skillful nets are created in record time and are dangerous hunting traps in which large and small prey are caught. That is, it can become not only bugs and butterflies, but also small birds.
If we are talking about the art of weaving — the talent that spiders are famous for, it is impossible not to mention the Spider Darwin — an old-timer of the islands of Madagascar, since he was considered the creator of the largest and most durable cobwebs. The carrier thread of these networks at a record thickness reaches 25 m, the radii of the circumferences of the pattern can be equal to 2 m, and the entire web can occupy an area of 12 m 2 and more.
The sizes of females in the overwhelming number of species of spiders significantly exceed the size of males. And in this case, the representative of this detachment that we are considering is not an exception, but just the opposite, because females are three times the size of their cavaliers. While the size of the latter can be as little as 6 mm, their own reaches 18 mm.
It is amazing that such small creatures can weave such amazing cobwebs. Indeed, often their ends are connected by trees on opposite banks of rivers or lakes. And the strands of networks are ten times, as it turned out, more reliable than heavy-duty artificial Kevlar. Scientists believe that studying the structure of such cobwebs can be of great benefit to humanity and help improve the technology of materials production.
Interestingly, this species of arachnids was discovered in Madagascar quite recently, only at the beginning of this century. And she was called the sonorous name of Darwin because of pronounced sexual dimorphism, since the famous scientist, among other merits, became the founder of theoretical research on this issue. These are black spiders decorated with a white pattern, the body and legs of which are abundantly covered with small light hairs.
However, many representatives of the spider squad are famous for the strength of weaved threads. They are able to stretch to a length four times greater than the original. Extraction is stuck in these nets due to the sticky structure of round filaments.
But the owners of the cobwebs themselves when moving on them are not threatened by this because of the hair covering on their legs, preventing this. A signal to the fact that the prey is caught in the network is the vibration of the web, and hunters are able to pick up even the most insignificant fluctuations.
But not all of our creatures weave round traps. For example, the gladiator spider living in eastern Australia is an exception. Such creatures make square bags from elastic threads, with which they catch victims, making sudden attacks.
The same weapon, as is known from history, was used by Roman gladiators, in whose honor spiders were nicknamed. The color of the males of this species is brown-gray. «Ladies» are larger, their abdomens are strewn with orange blotches. Like most spiders, these creatures go hunting at night.
Some species of spiders do not weave webs at all. They justify their title of predators, like wild animals, simply attacking their victims. In their hunt without wicker nets, spider-like creatures of the phryne also do. Their legs are impressively long, and the front pair of walking limbs at the same time ends with flexible legs-plaits.
That’s why such animals are called leg-footed spiders. They also have tentacle extremities with grasping devices: hooks and spikes. They deal with their victims with them, mainly insects.
These are not small creatures with an average length of 4.5 cm. Their body is quite flat, which allows them to hide with convenience in daytime shelters, where they rest in anticipation of a night hunt. These unique creations are also equipped with suction cups on the paws, which facilitates their successful movement on vertical surfaces.
An original way to breed offspring. If ordinary spiders build spider web cocoons, where they put their eggs, the number of which can reach several thousand, the free-females fit their abdomen with a special film formed from hardened secretions.
This repository remotely resembles a bag of kangaroos and serves as a container for eggs. True, the number of the latter usually does not exceed six dozen. Just, apparently, not enough space.
In the beginning, we talked about how spiders are unlike insects — organisms that they mainly feed on. But there are exceptions. And they are anteater spiders. This is a whole family of representatives of the animal world.
And part of its species (there are about a thousand of them in total) copy almost exactly the insects that they feed on, which helps them to remain unnoticed by their victims during the hunt and attack.
A similar spider can really have an almost complete external resemblance to ants. Their only difference is the number of legs. The hunters, as we already know, have eight, and the victims have only six. But here, resourceful anteaters know how to confuse the enemy.
Closing closer to the ants, they raise their front paws up, so they become similar to the antennae of insects. By the indicated ingenious deception, they are allowed to safely approach their prey.
In imitations, the spiders, who were so called — imitators, also succeeded. True, compared with anteaters, they do exactly the opposite. First of all, they do not fake themselves for someone, but create their dummies from dried plants and all kinds of garbage. And yet, all this is done not for attack, but for protection against predators, in particular wild aggressive wasps, which often choose spiders as the object of their hunt.
Similar copies of octopuses turn out to be similar to the original in color, size and shape. They have paws and reflect the sun’s rays like the creatures they imitate. Models even move under the wind. Cunning and skillful creatures have such stuffed animals on their webs in the most visible places.
And the wasps rush towards them, without touching the living creator of the wonderful product. And he, warned, has the opportunity to take cover in time. Such spiders live in Singapore. And they have a colorful outfit of black, brown and white colors, composed in complex patterns. There is a whole family of puppeteer spiders who are not only able to make copies of themselves, but also manage their own puppets.
In particular, such masters were recently discovered in Peru. A tiny creature no larger than 6 mm created from the remains of plants a spider doll, much larger than it in size. Moreover, it made such a dummy, planted on a web, move, pulling the strings of the network.
Types of White Spiders often poisonous, so notice something like this in an unfamiliar area, you should be careful. However, the largest representative of spiders of such an unusual color, nicknamed the white lady, is not considered particularly dangerous, because there are no known cases of attacks on her biped from the human race.
Such creatures are found in the Namib desert in Africa. They have dimensions of about 10 cm, given the size of the paws. The sight of spiders of this species is poor, but they have a wonderful hearing. And even communicate with each other through the stamping of legs, thus transmitting to the congeners a variety of messages.
The heroes of our story are mostly lovers of the dark, who prefer night time for vigorous activity and hunting. However, despite this, they sometimes have a dozen eyes and for the most part do not complain about the sharpness of vision.
But there are spiders with a poor set of organs of vision. And there are, as it turned out, completely blind. In the cave of Laos, Dr. Jager recently discovered a similar species, until now unknown. She received the name «Sinopoda scurion».
Varieties of spiders with partially atrophied vision were already known, but now they are open and completely eyeless. As a rule, these are residents of large caves, often even underground inhabitants, whose ancestors spent centuries and millennia all their lives without a ray of sunlight. Similar creatures from the Nestikus clan were recently discovered also in Abkhazia in the New Athos cave.
Arachnids on the planet are ubiquitous. There is no corner where such animals would not find refuge. Even in cold regions, they are able to exist, however, close to humans. These are mainly land organisms. But there are conquerors of the water element.
An example of such, besides the only one, is the silver spider living in Europe. His hind legs are provided with bristles for swimming. And the abdominal hairs when immersed in water do not get wet due to the special greasy lubrication.
Moreover, air bubbles that are used by these organisms for breathing in depth are preserved in dryness there.They cast silver under water, which gave rise to the name of the variety.
It is not strange, these seemingly amusing creatures, the size of not more than one and a half centimeters, belong to species of poisonous spiders. And their danger bite is comparable to a bee.
The giant ancestors of such arachnids once lived on our planet fifty million years ago. Their modern counterparts, which are still found in Madagascar, are much smaller and have an average length of about 5 mm. But they retained a very unusual appearance, inherited from their ancestors. And their originality is that the front of their body resembles the head of a pelican.
Despite their small size, they have powerful jaws and are even nicknamed killer spiders for unusually insidious ways of hunting similar arachnid creatures. Following their spider webs, they pull for them.
And this makes the network owner think that the long-awaited prey is trapped. And when the unlucky creature, hoping to have a tasty lunch, goes to the scene, it becomes the victim of a cunning fellow cannibal. Moreover, the pranksters themselves do not know how to weave their webs.
In general, spiders prefer loneliness to communicating with their own kind and do not need a company of relatives to survive. However, there are atypical social spiders. Their representatives sometimes maintain contacts with neighbors in everyday matters for the common good, unite in groups, even exist in colonies.
Together they prey on prey, which alone is difficult to catch, together weaving trapping nets, protect eggs in cocoons. But such animals never reach a high level of sociality. The described relationships can occur in representatives of the funnel family, in orbiting spiders, in weaver spiders, and some others.
Spiders are proven to be a very ancient form of terrestrial fauna. And scientists were convinced of this, finding frozen pieces of amber, whose age was measured in millions of centuries. The remains of a web of prehistoric creatures were found in them, which could not be anything other than spiders.
It is also known that their modern descendants inspire people not only with disgust, but with subconscious, often uncontrollable fear. This is a disease called arachnophobia. Most often, it has no sound reason. Moreover, people suffering from it are afraid of harmless little octopuses even more than plane crashes, car accidents and even firearms.
The causes of this phobia have not been studied much. But it is assumed that its mechanisms should be sought at the genetic, evolutionary level. Its roots go back to time immemorial, when arachnids were larger and more dangerous, and the distant ancestors of humans were small defenseless mammals. But still dangerous species of spiders exist today. We will consider them further.
This is a scary creature. But if you do not touch him, he usually does not commit attacks on people and other mammals. However, his bite can lead to death. He bites the skin to a depth of only half a millimeter, but injects a very toxic poison. Cattle, camels, horses, various rodents are especially sensitive to it.
But reptiles, amphibians, dogs and mice respond less to it. The poison begins to act right away, dispersing throughout the body for several minutes. In a person, it causes burning pain, palpitations, pallor, dizziness, vomiting, later mental instability, blurred creation, hallucinations, delirium.
In addition to North Africa, karakurt are also found in the southern regions of Europe, in particular in the Mediterranean and Central Asia, sometimes found in Astrakhan and some other areas of southern Russia. Such spiders live in burrows, the passages to which rush deep underground.
Such creatures are extremely fertile. And once in a quarter of a century or even more often, outbreaks of especially active reproduction are recorded in them, after which their population increases greatly. The name of this animal from the language of Asian nationalities is translated as «black insect». In addition, it belongs to the genus of the so-called black widows.
It includes more than three dozen species of black spiders, all of which are poisonous. The color of karakurt largely corresponds to its name, except for 13 orange spots on top of its balloon-shaped abdomen. There are karakurt and other colors, including white.
For arachnids, these are rather large animals, with a body length of up to 2 cm. Their chelicera are not so dangerous and are able to bite through the skin of mammals only in thin places. And toxicity is comparable to bee. These creatures got their name for the presence on the upper side of the abdomen of a characteristic pattern in the form of a cross, which in itself exists to scare away enemies.
Such spiders live in tree branches, where they weave nets for catching small insects, which is their favorite type of food. Like other representatives of the spider squad, they have external digestion, that is, they inject juices into the body of the prey, dissolve it, and then drink it. In total, about 600 varieties of crosses are known, about three dozen of them live in our country.
South Russian Tarantula
It is easy to conclude from the name that, like the two previous poisonous brothers, these creatures also belong to species of spiders, in Russia with whom you can have the misfortune to meet. And such an event can bring sad consequences. The bite of such a tarantula, as a rule, does not lead to death, although it is extremely painful and can even cause fever.
In the European part of our country, tarantulas live in a forest-steppe zone with a dry climate, in the steppes and semi-deserts, are often found in the Caucasus and the Urals, in Siberia. They dig holes for themselves, which are shallow, not more than half a meter long, vertical tunnels lined with cobwebs. In the vicinity of their home, such unpleasant creatures prey on insects.
Their body size reaches 3 cm, and the color is usually dark from below and brownish from above. In general, the word «tarantula» is derived from the name of the city of Taranto, which is located in Italy. It is in its vicinity that such creatures are found in extreme abundance.
Although eight-legged creatures are rarely perceived by humans as pleasant, it happens that people in their homes start them on purpose, sometimes wanting to get some benefit from them, and sometimes just like that, for exotics. For example, in Chile, where very small, but poisonous spiders crawl into the dwellings, the owners purposely settle their other brothers.
The latter are much larger in size, but harmless, but they are happy to eat small dangerous relatives. Some types of domestic spiders settle in dwellings without invitations and for a long time become our neighbors, moreover, of their own free will. Next will be presented some of the frequent guests in the homes of man.
Familiar to almost any spider no more than a centimeter in size. True, we know him under different names. In common people, he was given other nicknames: a centipede or a toes. The convex oval body of such a spider can be painted in brown, red or other similar tones.
These creatures love the sun, so their cobwebs in people’s homes are most often located on windows or in well-lit corners. These creatures are harmless and non-toxic. You can get rid of their presence in the home without much hassle. It is enough to simply sweep away all the networks interwoven by them with a broom and clean all around.
The name itself suggests that such spiders often seek refuge in a person’s home. True, they live not only there, mostly on trees. But it enters the house through cracks, vents and window openings and immediately try to hide in secluded corners.
Then they weave their networks in the form of a pipe with complex patterns. Thus, they catch very unpleasant insects, because in addition to flies and mosquitoes, they also feed on moths. By this they bring a person considerable benefit, but they are able to bite, although they are mostly harmless. The size of such spiders is not more than 3 cm, the color is usually dark.
Types of spiders in the photo demonstrate their diversity. Now imagine the last instance, but the most unusual and impressive. Of the known in the world, this is the largest spider, the dimensions of which reach up to 30 cm. The hairy body of the giant is really able to impress.
In general, similar creatures live in the jungle of South America. But often kept by exotic lovers as pets. By the way, contrary to the name, these arachnids do not eat birds, only snakes, amphibians and insects.
And you should not think that they are primitive. They can even be called intellectuals, since the volume of their brain is equal to about a fourth of the entire body. Such pets are able to recognize their owners and even become attached to them.