Wolf Spider

North America contains approximately 3,400 of the overall 40,000 species of spiders in the world. Spiders are Arachnids and fall under the class Chelicerata and the order Araneae, taking various shapes, sizes, forms as well as colors and behavioral styles. Regardless of species, all spiders consist of eight legs and have two-piece bodies (the cephalothorax in the front and the abdomen to the rear). The cephalothorax contains the multiple eye arrangement (number of eyes varies by species), mouth parts and the legs while the abdomen manages the the silk-producing for them.

Sometimes spiders can be identified by the type of web they weave. Not all webs, however, are for the purpose of capturing prey.  Some are used in courtship rituals and some are used to secure egg sacs filled with eggs. Still other web structures serve as shelters for spiders not needing the use of an elaborate web. Webs are produced by specialized glands in the abdomen of the spider that essentially are produced from a liquid protein made within the body of the spider. This protein hardens once outside of the body, allowing the spider to build it’s web. The web is released from the spider from the back of the abdomen, guided by spinnerets that allow the spider to change the web’s release as required. It is not wholly uncommon for spiders of different species to share webs or for a rogue spider to steal another spider’s catch from it’s own web. Beyond webs, some spiders rely on  surprise and bury themselves in loose soil, jumping out when prey passes by – ultimately injecting the prey with a powerful venom.

Of all the insects in the world, spiders are perhaps the most feared by everyday people. This is often from a lack of understanding that people have for spiders as many serve very beneficial purposes in thenatural world- often regulating other insect populations. Generally speaking, spiders are solitary creatures.