Spiders are actually cooler than you think and really not as dangerous as one possibly imagines them to be. You probably get spiders in your dreams and see them crawling over to you as fast as their little legs can carry them! And even though you may think you know all about spiders, take a look at some of the weirdest spiders out there!
01. Zipper Spider
Also commonly known as the banana spider because it is colored like one, the zipper spider is credited to be one of the largest orb weavers! Spiders like these exist in most countries around the world. It is found in North America and England and is also sometimes known as a wasp spider. The way the spider rests on the web made by him is a distinct pattern. Once the web is made, the spider lays on it with its legs spread out like an X pattern.
During mating, the male spider and female spider spin webs side by side and just after the mating process, the female lays the eggs and carefully places the egg sac onto the web. Containing anywhere between 400 to 1,400 eggs, these eggs are looked after until they hatch in the autumn month.
02. Daddy Long-legs Spider
It is commonly referred to by this name because of its extremely long legs and a comparatively short body structure. It belongs to a group of arachnids that are extremely fragile and known as pholcids. They usually have bands to mark them as different and the shape resembles almost that of a peanut or a pill.
These spiders live behind knotted webs usually in darker places or damp caves, or even in warmer attics or cupboards. It is these webs that trap their prey in a tangled mess and can even store them for a later feed.
However, its threat response is one of the most distinct responses that are seen among spiders. If the spider senses a predator ready to attack, it starts vibrating and gyrating with such fast movements within its web that the predator cannot focus on the blurred spider. In all of this, chances are that the predator may leave in all that confusion or even capture insects hovering close by.
03. Lady Bird Spider
This spider was thought to be extinct for over and above 70 years and was again discovered in 1980 again in the UK. They belong to a species named Eresidae and get its name from its striking resemblance to a ladybird! Now a rare species in northern Europe, they are also frequently spotted in the Alps or Pyrenees. Ladybird spiders live on the ground in areas of dry, sandy soil and build deep lined burrows to live in. The female species only live in burrows while the males travel far and wide for mating and maybe food.
Colonies of these spiders usually live together and don’t move away more than 10 m or 12 m away. This is the reason they do not travel far away to start other colonies. Where do they prefer staying usually? Heathlands are the most preferred place to live for these lady bird spiders. Open patches with heathland grasses and windy scattered trees are where you are sure to spot a lady bird spider!
04. Ant Mimic Jumping Spider
Imagine a spider trying to mimic an ant! That’s what the ant mimic jumping spider does by assuming the look of an ant from the slender legs to even the three-part body of the ant. They even put their fore-legs in front of their body that seizes as the antennae! Although it is possible that the spider assumes the appearance of the ant to get close to the ants and then attack them, no such activity has been recorded before. The closest other explanation would be that they take on this appearance to stay away from predators such as spider-wasps, that prefer avoiding ants in general.
These spiders are usually found in Singapore and the most common is Mymarachne, which has a long waist attached to a long cephalothorax while the males usually have very large jaws, making the spider look all the more like a soldier ant specifically!
05. Assassin Spider
From the name, you can guess that this spider is a deadly one, and one that hunts and kills! Its appearance definitely matches up to its name, with its low protruding jaw and a large neck to reach and even the color of the spider itself. Known to live in South Africa and Australia, they make their kill by stabbing their prey vigorously after finally sinking their venomous fangs deep into the body. Found in parts of Madagascar, Africa, and Australia, this one is a mini killer and feeds on its fellow spiders, making them completely harmless to humans!
06. Diving Bell Spider
One of the only purely aquatic spiders in the world, Argyroneta aquatic, or the Diving Bell Spider, are actually found world over, from Asia to Europe to UK and even Siberia! It has made its habitat in shallow ponds, lakes, streams, and still waters. One of the most interesting and distinctive things that this spider does is the way he builds an oxygen cove under water because he is unable to get any under water. He starts by building a cove of silk underwater that he fills up with oxygen brought from the surface, which he does by trapping air bubbles on the hair of his body and legs. Once the retreat he has built is filled with an oxygen supply, it puffs up and becomes shiny in appearance. That’s how it gets its name, Argyroneta, which means silvery net.
The spider tends to spend a lot of time within this net he creates and lives off whatever food he can capture in and around the area such as water striders, tadpoles, small fish, and larvae of the water. Occasionally, he does come up to replenish the oxygen in the bubble.
07. Arrowhead Spider
Harmless to the human species, this tiny spider’s biggest advantage against predators is its two hardened horns.
It is unusual for this spider to not have a rounded, bulbous abdomen as it hails from the Araneidae family and is an orb weaver. A bright yellow triangular marking on its otherwise red body on is very distinct and the zig zag pattern present on the spider makes its appearance larger than it actually is, especially to predators. This same pattern, which resembles a small flower, sometimes tends to attract the spider’s prey, making it easy for the spider to catch! The other tactic the spider uses to catch its prey is to sit and wait in its silken web and hope that an unsuspecting insect gets stuck, after which it immobilizes it in one bite, while waiting to feast on it later! Most active in spring to late summer, the female is about 1/4th of an inch while the male is even smaller.
08. Camel Spider
Native to the Middle East, this big, tan, and hairy spider seems to get its name from the region it hails from. Part of the Arachnid family, this one is also known as wind scorpions, wind spider, or sun spiders. In fact, according to a Latin term, these spiders come under Solifugae, which means “those who run away from the sun!”
These spiders can reach a length of up 6 inches and possess something known as chelicerae, which are their prey-hunting jaws! With the help of it, they usually make their kill and are known to overeat and thus stay in one place.
The female species is larger than the males and are overall nocturnal creatures with hairy, brown legs. A major misconception is the fact that these spiders attack humans, which isn’t true at all. They approach any sort of shade that they can get, which can include human shadows as well, and will move with shade wherever possible.
09. Cat Faced Spiders
This spider is yet another orb-weaver and belongs to the Arachnid class. Their length varies from 5.7 mm to about 4.5 inches wide, and they possess a bulbous abdomen like most other spiders. However, they do have antennae like projections in the front and a V-shaped marking on their abdomen that makes them fairly distinct from the rest, and also leading them to their name.
The winter season for them is usually spent within the silken sac that they create, where the mother lays eggs in the spring and the tiny baby spiders move out by the ballooning method! Here, the wind carries the light silken threads on which the baby spiders are stuck and distribute them here and there. Usually, the mother dies upon laying a single egg sac filled with loads of eggs.
These cat faced spiders catch their prey among their concentric circled web pattern, which is extremely sticky thus being able to trap their prey completely. When they feel the vibrations of ensnared prey within the web, they immediately cover it with sheets of the same silk thread and swaths it with layers of its digestive saliva, making sure that the prey is completely paralyzed by the end of it all! The meat is taken in and devoured later.
10. Happy Face Spider
Yes, there is a spider like this, and he is weirdly happy-faced throughout his life! A close cousin to the infamous black widow spider, this species is usually found in the rainforests of Hawaii. In the local dialect, it is referred to as nananana makaki’i.
The happy faced pattern is usually seen on the spider’s abdomen and it is these patterns that tend to form a happy, smiling face! Although most spiders tend to have this happy face, sometimes the patterns even make up a sad smiley or a frown! This is an endangered species and must be cared for.
11. Fishing Spider
Spotted in and around Wisconsin, this is supposedly one of the largest species of spiders that hang around streams and lakes and feeds on small fish and tadpoles, and on feast days, they eat slugs! Females are usually seen guarding their egg sacs while males are out there hunting. They look out for prey by the edge of the water, when they see ripples in them, and run on the tip of the water; catch their prey by injecting venom in them. These spiders can even enter the waters and they do so by building a silvery casing that is filled with air.
12. Peacock Spider
To think that a spider can be as beautiful as a peacock! Just like the peacock, these male peacock spiders dance from side to side to lure the attention of their female counterparts! Iridescent and glamorous, these male spiders do it all just to try and get the female’s attention!
Also known as Maratus volans, the male spiders have white hair on their body and a burst of colors on their abdominal flap, resembling the vibrant peacock feathers. In a hilarious sighting, if the female is uninterested or already a mother bearing eggs, she can even attempt to attack, kill, or even try and feed on the male species. More often than not, the males are not quick enough to escape her sudden attack and are devoured by her in the process! These species are not known to attack humans, and reach about 5 mm in length.
13. Bird Dung Spider
Imagine mimicking bird poop to stay away from predators and lure insects! This is exactly how this spider functions! Also known as the Bird- Dropping Spider, this spider makes sure it keeps its distance from anything not needed and everyone else also tries and maintains a distance from him!
One of the major characteristics of this spider is the striking resemblance it has to bird poop! Its body even secretes thin silk threads that it places over itself, to give the poop the appearance of being completely natural! There are believed to be at least four species of this spider, with one of them even having warts on its body to give the feeling of it being fresh poop!
If you think this is the best camouflage it has, you’re wrong! It even lets out a strong smell, very close to the smell of fresh faeces, which makes everyone want to stay away from the spider all the more! This smell, however, attracts male moths and is the same smell that a female moth releases. Thus, the male moth flies toward the smell, expecting a female moth but, instead, the spider becomes active and grabs the moth with its front two legs!
14. Spiny Orb Weaver
Commonly referred to as Spiny backed orb- weaver spider, they get their name from the spines that emerge from their abdomen as well as the orb webs that the female spiders make. Present across porches, patios, and yards of the Gulf Coast and California, and are considered yard helpers because they clean out pesky insects, flies, and mosquitoes.
Not very large in size, these spiders have brightly colored abdomens such as yellow, white, or orange, with black legs and red markings on the abdomen. The female spider stays in the web alone and captures her prey by first biting it to paralyze it. The male spider hangs on a thread close by. Egg production happens only later in the summer months, which are then attached in a leaf and wrapped in silk. After birth, the mother spider dies.
15. Goliath Birdeater Spider
This spider is definitely the kind that will give you the creeps and instill a sense of great fear, and you can tell just by the name! This spider belongs to the tarantula family and is said to be the largest spider in the world, one measuring to be almost 11 inches long! When threatened, they can bite and spread venom from their fangs, however, this doesn’t usually prove to be fatal for humans. However, this is not their most threatening aspect! These spiders have the ability to flick thin hair from their body onto anything that they perceive to be dangerous. This list includes humans, too, and this hair causes allergies and irritations and can cause problems to skin or mouth.
As other spiders, the Goliath bird eating spider also is a tenacious predator and their technique usually involves sneaking up on the prey from behind 01，when they least expect it and bite to spread the lethal venom.
They indulge in something known as stridulation, whereby the spider makes loud noises by clicking together the bristles on their legs. It is an extremely loud and surprising noise to be evoked from a spider and can be heard a couple of feet away! These spiders usually eat small snakes, bats, lizards, and beetles, but from time to time, they also find great pleasure in taking young birds from their nests, hence their name!
End of a Spider’s Web – Conclusion
Some people love them and some are just creeped out by them, but there is a lot of information we don’t know about spiders. For example, did you know that spiders live on all continents except Antarctica because it is just too cold for them to survive there?
This post contains almost all the facts about some of the weirdest spiders! Everyone has surely heard of the black widow that lurks around in dark corners, but has anyone heard of the Crab Spider that lives in the desert sand in the Gulf? Or the Peacock Spider that dances and spreads its beautifully colored abdomen only to attract its girlfriend?! There is a world out there of spiders that we shall never know about, but this post tries to capture small instances of that world.
This post truly attempts to give you an insight into the small world spiders make for themselves. Just like one gets caught in the web of life, these spiders possibly have a routine, too, which can include dropping their children off to school or teaching them to hunt!
Although we know a fair amount about spiders, there is still a lot to learn and their world will always have a little mystery attached to it forever! So next time you dust a cobweb, think about all the different kind of spiders and their homes!