4 Things You Didn’t Know About Spiders

4 Things You Didn’t Know About Spiders

Many people get scared when they hear the word “spider”.  But for a good portion of the population, the words “cuddly” and “friendly” come to mind when they think of their eight-legged friends. Some people keep them as pets and cuddle them like a dog or cat. If you are considering adopting a spider, we have compiled a list of important features and facts to know about spiders: 

1. The Most Strong Venom

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Image credit: Jurgen Otto / Flickr

Many species are venomous, but the two most venomous spiders are the black widow and Australian Atrax spider. Black widows are very venomous, but they pose very little danger to humans due to the fact that bites are not serious. Despite their ferocious-sounding name, Black widows are not aggressive creatures; they have no reason to bite us unless they’re threatened. Black widows eat insects that they catch in their webs, as well as other spider species. Only the female black widow is dangerous to humans; males and juveniles are harmless. After mating, if she has the chance, the female black widow will kill and eat the male. Australian Atrax spiders have most powerful bite in the world, and can kill a human in only an hour. They have very strong fangs that go easily through even a shoe.

2. Plant Eating Spider

The jumping spider is the only herbivorous spider in the world and lives in Mexico and Central America. Spiders were thought to be strictly predators on animals but this species, Bagheerakiplingi, was discovered decades ago, and the fact that it is a vegetarian was not observed until recently. The spider lives in many species of acacia trees with other species of ants. The spider eats nectar from the ants’ glands, and in return guards these ants. The story of the first known vegetarian spider is also a story of cooperation between species staying together to survive.

3. Arachnophobia

Even in the old days when mammoths lived and people were brave enough to hunt them humans have always been afraid of spiders. Even though people are aware that the risk of seeing a spider and being harmed by it is small, sufferers from arachnophobia experience great anxiety. They are usually most frightened when getting in and out of bed and showers, and avoid going barefoot. Most people have little real knowledge of spiders, so they fear the unknown. Arachnophobia occurs in 55% of women and 15% of men. Of all the methods used to treat arachnophobia, the most popular one involves showing images of spiders mixed in with pictures of other animals that people are not scared of.

4.Cannibalism

Black Widows are infamous for killing and even eating a male after mating. No insect is safe from the female spider – not even her partner. The red marking on her round abdomen is easy to spot because her shiny black body gives great contrast. If they are not participating in a mating ritual, a female spider will eat male. Adult Black Widow spider males are harmless and have yellow spot. Because the male contains all the nutrients of female, members of the same species make the perfect meal. Some clever male spiders will escape certain death by attacking a female spider before she tries to attack and eat him.