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The Spider's Parlour

Fascinating Facts

Classification
Arthropods
Arachnids

Frequently Asked Questions

Melbourne's Spiders

Activities
Writing Scientifically
Make your own:
Climbing spider
Spider web
Red-back spider

Resources


Why are spiders so hairy?

Despite having eight eyes, many spiders can’t see much at all. Instead, they use sensory hairs and pores of various sorts to make sense of their world via touch, taste, moisture and vibration sensations. Narrow flexible slits in the skin (cuticle) around the leg joints sense web vibrations caused by struggling prey and tell the spider the position of its legs when spinning a web.

Huntsman spider Isopeda montana Hogg

Australian Tarantulas are also called Whistling Spiders because they whistle when threatened. They do this by rapidly rubbing together modified hairs on the mouthparts, to produce a high pitched whirring sound. This sound, concentrated within the spider’s burrow, may scare off predators.

Some American Tarantulas use the hairs on their abdomen to protect themselves against predators. When irritated or threatened they rapidly brush their back legs across the hairy abdomen, sending out a cloud of barbed hairs behind them. These get stuck in the eyes or mouth of the pursuing animal and put it off the chase.

South American Tarantula South American Tarantula

Many hunting spiders (such as huntsman and jumping spiders) have thick tufts of hairs at the ends of their legs. These hairs give lots of clinging power and let the spider move about freely on smooth surfaces like tree trunks, leaves, ceilings and glass.


Spiders & Sex

Hunting

Feeding

Spider Silk

Why so hairy?


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