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Biological illustration of a spider (magnified)  

 
Copywright 2008, Idiomorf infographics  
 
   

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The Spider
Spiders are predatory invertebrate animals that have two body segments, eight legs, no chewing mouth parts and no wings. They are classified in the order Araneae, one of several orders within the larger class of arachnids, a group that also contains scorpions whip scorpions mites ticks opiliones (harvestmen). The study of spiders is called arachnology. All spiders produce silk, a thin, strong protein strand extruded by the spider from spinnerets most commonly found on the end of the abdomen. Many species use it to trap insects in webs, although there are also many species that hunt freely. Silk can be used to aid in climbing, form smooth walls for burrows, build egg sacs, wrap prey, and temporarily hold sperm, among other applications. All spiders except those in the families Uloboridae and Holarchaeidae, and in the suborder Mesothelae (together about 350 species) can inject venom to protect themselves or to kill prey. Only about 200 species, however, have bites that can pose health problems to humans. Many larger species' bites may be quite painful, but will not produce lasting health concerns. Spiders are found all over the world, from the tropics to the Arctic, living underwater in silken domes they supply with air, and on the tops of mountains. In 1973, Skylab 3 took two spiders into space to test their web-spinning capabilities in zero gravity. Spiders, unlike insects, have only two body segments (tagmata) instead of three: a fused head and thorax cephalothorax or prosoma and an abdomen (called the opisthosoma). The exception to this rule are the assassin spiders, whose cephalothorax seems to be almost divided into two independent units. Except for a few species of very primitive spiders (family Liphistiidae), the abdomen is not externally segmented. The abdomen and cephalothorax are connected with a thin waist called the pedicle or the pregenital somite, a trait that allows the spider to move the abdomen in all directions. This waist is actually the last segment (somite) of the cephalothorax and is lost in most other members of the Arachnida (in scorpions it is only detectable in the embryos). Prosoma
All spiders have eight legs, although a few ant-mimicking species use their front legs to imitate antennae, which spiders lack. Their eyes are single lenses rather than compound eyes, ranging from simple light/dark-receptors to eyes rivaling those of a pigeon (some jumping spiders). They have pedipalps (or just palps), at the base of which are coxae or next to their mouth that aid in ingesting food; the ends of the palp are modified in adult males into elaborate and often species-specific structures used for mating. Since they have no antennae, they use specialised and sensitive hairs on their legs to pick up scent, sounds, vibrations and air currents.

Sense organs
Spiders usually have eight eyes in various arrangements, a fact that is used to aid in taxonomically classifying different species. Most species of the Haplogynae have six eyes, although some have eight (Plectreuridae), four (eg., Tetrablemma) or even two (most Caponiidae) eyes. Sometimes one pair of eyes is better developed than the rest, or even, in some cave species, there are no eyes at all. Several families of hunting spiders, such as jumping spiders and wolf spiders, have fair to excellent vision. The main pair of eyes in jumping spiders even see in color. Net-casting spiders have enormous, compound lenses that give a wide field of view and gather available light very efficiently.However, most spiders that lurk on flowers, webs, and other fixed locations waiting for prey tend to have very poor eyesight; instead they possess an extreme sensitivity to vibrations, which aids in prey capture. Vibration sensitive spiders can sense vibrations from such various mediums as the water surface, the soil or their silk threads. Also changes in the air pressure can be detected in the search for prey.

What can Idiomorf do for you?
A biological illustration like this enable users to understand the anatomy of a spider. Using illustrations in stead of text saves you and the end user time and money. Infographics can be used in your promotional materials, both on printed documents and websites as well.

Contact us to find out how you can streamline your biological explanations and scientific experiments and save on costs!