There are over 30000 spider species worldwide. So, of course, there are also many interesting facts about these arachnids. If you’re thinking of getting a spider or curious, keep reading to discover some fun facts about them!
For starters, you need to know that, although all spiders produce silk, not all of them spin webs. Likewise, while most spiders produce venom, only a few of them can harm humans, let alone kill them. Also, most types of these arachnids have different mating rituals, including dancing!
But the facts we mentioned before are only the tip of the iceberg! Stay with us to discover everything that makes spiders so interesting.
15 Fun and Interesting Facts About Spiders
1. All Spiders Produce Silk, but Not All of Them Spin Webs
People tend to associate spiders with webs because some species spin them to catch prey. But not all spiders produce webs. Some of the most popular arachnids, like tarantulas, have different hunting methods.
That said, all existing types of spiders do create silk. Some of them can even produce over seven varieties of silk, each one with its properties.
There’s a sticky kind of silk, there’s one that stretches, and there’s a dry one, among other types. These silks are useful to stop prey from moving, to protect egg sacs, and to create webs, for example.
2. All Spiders Are Venomous, but Only Some Can Harm Humans
Yes, all spiders produce venom to some extent, but only a handful of them have the potential to harm humans. In reality, most spiders are so small that their teeth can’t break through a person’s skin. And, even the venom of more prominent species like tarantulas is not a threat to humans.
For the most part, if a spider bites you, it’ll feel like a bee’s sting. And in most cases, your skin will only get red and a little swollen. You only need to worry if you get allergic reactions when a bee stings you.
But, of course, there are exceptions. The following arachnids are, indeed, dangerous to humans:
- Redback Spider
- Black Widow Spider
- Brown Recluse Spider
- Brazilian Wandering Spider or Banana Spider
Another thing to keep in mind is that a spider’s venom may be more effective on children, the elder, and sick people.
3. The Brazilian Wanderer Spider Is the Most Venomous in the World
It may not be as famous as Black Widows worldwide, but the Brazilian Wanderer is the most venomous spider. A small dose of these species’ venom is enough to kill an adult person!
These arachnids live in Central and South America. Some people refer to these spiders as Banana Spiders because they can live in banana plants.
4. Some Spiders Are Really Good Dancers
There are many different types of mating rituals and calls among spider species. Thus, some, like the striking Peacock Spider, are famous for their dance moves!
During the mating season, the male Peacock Spiders dance for the females. If a male impresses a female, they’ll begin matting together. But there’s a lot of competition, so he needs to bring his best moves!
This ritual is even better considering how colorful these spider species are.
5. Jumping Spiders Can Jump 50 Times Their Body Lenght
Jumping Spiders honor their name by being able to jump 50 times their body length. These tiny spiders jump to avoid predators or catch their prey and feed.
There are at least 6000 spiders that are part of the family of Jumping Spiders. This family’s name is Salticidae, and it includes Peacock Spiders.
6. Some Female Spiders Kill Males During the Matting Season
Some spider species are notorious because females kill males during the mating season. The most famous example of this cannibalistic tendency is the Black Widow Spider. But it is not as brutal as it may sound.
Males of the Black Widow species encourage the females to eat them. How? By placing themselves in the female’s mouth over and over again. Males don’t even learn to create a web or feed sometimes, saving strength for mating season.
Females feed on the male spiders because they tend to get hungry after (and sometimes during) the matting process. The females also take advantage of being larger than the males in most cases.
This type of sexual cannibalism is not only present in spiders, though. Other cold-blooded species like the Praying Mantis are also famous for these practices.
7. The Goliath Spider Is the World’s Biggest Type of Spider
With almost 11 inches in total body length, the Goliath Spider is the world’s most prominent spider. These species also have fangs about an inch long and allow them to hunt for all kinds of prey. So, Goliath Spiders can feed on insects, lizards, mice, and even small snake species.
The scientific name of a Goliath Spider is Theraphosa blondi. The natural habitat of these species is in northern South America.
8. The Samoan Moss Spider Is the World’s Smallest Spider Species
The Samoan Moss Spider is the smallest spider known worldwide, with only about 0.011 inches in length. To give you an idea: 10 of these spiders can fit at the end of a pencil.
The scientific name of these spider species is Patu marplesi. The natural habitat of these arachnids in Polinesia.
9. The Word “Spider” Has to Do With Their Ability To Spin Threads
Spider is also associated with the German spinne and another English word, spinster.
In all cases, the meaning is the same: Spins thread.
10. Some Male Spiders Offer Gifts to the Females
Are you looking to add another item to the list of weird spider mating rituals and habits? In some species, males offer gifts to the females to court them and impress them.
But don’t think of flowers and chocolates. In the case of spiders, the males come bearing gifts in the form of dead flies. And some people dare to stay that romance is dead!
11. There’s An Almost Entirely Vegetarian Spider Species
It’s hard to believe, but there’s a kind of spider who’s almost 100% a vegetarian. The Bagheera kiplingi lives in trees with leaves that are rich in proteins and feeds on their nectar. But, of course, when times get rough, they eat insects and, in the worst-case scenario, each other.
These species are a kind of Jumping Spiders and live in Mexico and other parts of Central America.
12. You Can Find Spiders in Almost Every Part of the Earth
There are so many spider species that it’s only natural that you can find them almost globally. But there’s an exception: Antarctica, a place where there are no arachnids whatsoever.
13. Some Spiders Fling Hairs in Self-Defense
While most people think of biting as the only defense mechanism of spiders, that’s not the case. Some species, including tarantulas, prefer to fling tiny, irritating hair at predators.
This type of hair is often called urticating hairs and is similar to a porcupine and its quills in technique. The hair is also effective on humans and can cause skin irritation, as well as eyesight issues.
14. There Is a Greek Myth About Spiders
In Greek mythology, there was a girl named Arachne that could spin threads well. Because of her talent, the goddess Athenea got jealous enough to turn her into a spider. Now, that what we call a Classic Greek happy ending!
15. A Female Spider Can Lay Thousand of Eggs During Mating Season
Every spider birth is prolific. A female spider can lay up to 3000 eggs during mating season. But, since most spiders live for about a year, females tend only to have one significant birth during their lifespan.
But, as you can imagine, exceptional cases like tarantulas can live up to 20 years in captivity and mate every year. Depending on the species, tarantulas can have between 500 and 1000 babies per year. So, a tarantula can be a mother 20000 times in a hectic year.
So, if you’re planning on getting two tarantulas, a male, and a female, you need to think about their offspring too.