60 Interesting Facts About Spiders

Last updated on December 26th, 2022

54. The Earth Spiders of Japan

The tsuchigumo are spider-like spirits in Japanese folklore. It’s also used as a derogatory term for the renegade local clans who did not show loyalty to the Japanese emperor.

55. First Sci-Fi Novel

Lucian of Samosata wrote the earliest known western sci-fi, “A True Story”. It depicts a battle between peoples of the Earth and Moon, made more chaotic by giant spiders.

56. Charlotte’s Web

The 1952 children’s novel “Charlotte’s Web” features a heroic spider who saves a scared farm pig. It was adapted into film with Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey in 2006.

57. Spiders as Food

Feast on fried spiders in Cambodia and Thailand. They taste like crunchy fried prawns. They also serve spiders pickled in wine for pregnant women.

58. Spiders in Music

Musicians have used spiders as inspiration for songs such as “Spiderwebs” by No Doubt, “The Spider and the Fly” by The Rolling Stones, and “Boris the Spider” by The Who.

59. Giant Spider Sculptures

If you have arachnophobia, then avoid the 30ft “Maman” bronze sculpture outside the National Gallery of Canada and the 50ft “La Princesse” mechanical spider that travels the world as a performance art piece.

60. Dreamcatchers

Native Americans believe that a kind Spider Woman protects children from harm. Grandmothers even weave charms shaped like a spiderweb to prevent nightmares.

10 Types of Spiders

1. American House Spider Facts

The common house spider
The common house spider. Photo © Steve Killoran

The American house spider hides in plain sight. People hardly notice them due to their small body, skinny legs, and earthy colors that blend into the background. There’s no reason to be vigilant since these are harmless to humans.

They even perform pest control by feeding on mosquitoes, ants, wasps, flies, and cockroaches. In turn, they need to watch out for predators like pirate spiders, jumping spiders, and assassin bugs.

In abandoned homes, American house spiders can form a spooky tangled mess of cobwebs. It’s common for females to build webs close together, but fights can break out during encounters. Meanwhile, males can live with them without getting attacked.

Adults have a one-year lifespan, during which females produce up to 20 brown egg sacs. That’s one litter every few weeks! Each sac contains 150 to 200 eggs. Days after hatching, spiderlings will move out of their mother’s web and find their new homes.

2. Goliath Spider Facts

Goliath spider
Goliath bird eating spider. Photo © Matthijs Kuijpers

The Goliath spider is a monstrous tarantula. It is the biggest spider in the world with a body that grows up to 13 cm and legs that stretch up to 30 cm.

Some call it the Goliath birdeater, since it is capable of hunting hummingbirds and other small avian. However, it is more likely to prey on worms, rodents, frogs, lizards, and insects. Too heavy to make webs, it instead uses ambush tactics and drags victims back to its burrow.

Goliath spiders are natives of South American rainforests from Venezuela to Brazil. Males can live up to 6 years, while females exceed 20 years.

They don’t usually bite humans unless necessary for self-defense. Their venom is not fatal, but you’ll be in pain for hours.

Intrepid locals hunt them for food, as they are a regional delicacy with a shrimp-like taste. People remove the harmful hairs before roasting the Goliath spider in banana leaves.

3. Wolf Spider Facts

Wolf spider
Wolf spider on fall leaves. Photo © Cathy Keifer

Wolf spiders are solitary predators with excellent vision and agility. Among their eight eyes, two are large and prominent.

They don’t make webs. Instead, they may build burrows or shelter under rocks. Their colors resemble their habitat for camouflage.

Many live in farms and gardens where they help with pest control. Others live in woodlands, alpine meadows, coastal forests, and shrublands. They chase insect prey over short distances or wait for them behind a trap door.

During courtship, males may drum on the ground or wave to females to attract their attention.

Mothers carry their eggs wherever they go. It doesn’t prevent them from hunting effectively. They may even let their young ride on their back for weeks until these can take care of themselves.

Wolf spiders are not aggressive. They won’t bite humans unless provoked. Their venom is not fatal, but it can inflict intense pain, swelling, and irritation.

4. Black Widow Spider Facts

Black Widow Spider
Black Widow Spider. Photo © Katy Fosterm

The black widow spider is 15 times more venomous than a rattlesnake. If bitten, humans can suffer nausea, muscle aches, and diaphragm paralysis. Fatalities are rare, but the risk is high among elderly, small children, and the sick.

The good news is that black widows are not aggressive. They will only bite to defend themselves. Just stay away if you see a shiny black spider with a red hourglass patch on the abdomen.

The name comes from a violent mating behavior. Females are known to kill and eat the much smaller males.

They are solitary widows by choice, enjoying brief companionship during mating and ending the relationship just as quickly.

Mothers place the cocoon of fertilized eggs on their large web. Spiderlings waste no time dispersing after they hatch. The webs are also useful in catching flies, beetles, mosquitoes, and other insects. In the wild, black widows can live up to 3 years.

5. Hobo Spider Facts

Close up shot of Hobo Spider
Close up shot of Hobo Spider on a leaf. Photo © Snehitdesign

The hobo spider got its name because of its natural habitat – woods, fields, and gaps under rocks, often near human settlements. Size ranges from 7 to 14 mm.

Color is typically a shade of brown. If you look closely at their abdomen, then you’ll find V-shaped patterns pointing to the head. However, they are more famous for building funnel-shaped webs. They wait patiently at one end for insect prey to enter their trap.

Hobo spiders are widespread. First described in Europe, scientists have discovered others in Central Asia and North America.

Females lay eggs in the fall, which hatch in the spring, and move out of the egg sac in the summer. Males will mate and perish before winter.

It was once thought that these spiders cause necrotic wounds, wherein surrounding tissue die because of their venom. However, there is no conclusive evidence for this. Previous cases may be due to other types of spiders in the area.

6. Golden Silk Spider Facts

Golden silk spider in a web
Golden silk spider in a web. Photo © Angela Perryman

The golden silk is one of the largest spiders in North America.

The colorful female can grow up to 40 mm, easily identified by patches of yellow, red, and brown. Meanwhile, the dark brown males are much smaller at just 6 mm. Despite the size difference, males are rarely in danger of violence from females. Their biggest problems are competition among fellow males and low sperm count. They usually mate only once in their lifetime.

As the name implies, they are known for weaving a beautiful golden silk web. Females can build these up to 2 meters in diameter, excluding the long tree anchors. The size makes it vulnerable to damage from passing birds, flying bugs, and falling debris. Constant maintenance is necessary.

Golden silk has a mild venom that only causes slight redness and temporary pain. They leave a trail of organic waste above the web to attract flies and other insects.

7. Brown Recluse Spider Facts

brown spider
Brown Recluse Spider. Photo © Luis Lopes Silva

The shy brown recluse will do everything to avoid humans. They only go out at night, hunting crickets, silverfish, and other insects. When morning comes, they hide in dark shelters.

Like other recluse spiders, this one has only six eyes instead of the usual eight. The body is typically 1 cm, light to medium brown with fine hairs. Their back may have a violin marking, leading others to call them the violin spider or the brown fiddler.

Only three spiders in North America have medically significant venom, and one of them is the brown recluse.

Its bite can trigger necrosis, a premature death of cells within living tissue. Get emergency treatment if you suspect a brown recluse bite.

The chance of this happening is higher if you live in the southern and central areas of the US. Just remember that it only bites if threatened. It is more likely to flee or play dead.

8. Crab Spider Facts

Crab spider
Crab spider. Photo © Lecock Freddy

Crab spiders scuttle sideways and backwards just like real crabs. They even look like miniature crustaceans. Their body is usually under half an inch long, although some might grow to double the size.

Color varies among species of this family. Most are brown, but you can find yellow, green, and pink crab spiders. It all depends on their habitat, specifically the flower they like to visit. Some people call them the flower crab spiders.

These crab spiders don’t build web traps, saving their silk for drop lines and reproduction.

They are hunters who wander and ambush prey. For example, they might sit on a flower waiting for an insect to taste the nectar.

Males are often much smaller than females, with the size ratio going as high as 1:60. This has evolutionary advantages: larger females can produce more eggs, while smaller males can travel easier to find mates.

9. Jumping Spider Facts

jumping spider
Jumping spider. Photo © Mario Čehulić

The family of jumping spiders is composed of more than 6,000 species that share notable traits.

Their excellent vision makes them superb hunters and navigators.

They are also agile jumpers, hence the name. It is useful for catching prey, avoiding threats, and crossing gaps. Before big jumps, they tether themselves with a strand of silk which acts like a bungee cord. It reduces the risk of bad falls and injuries. It also helps them recover quickly. They can always go back where they came and regroup.

Most jumping spiders live in tropical forests, while the rest are in temperate forests, deserts, brush, seashores, and mountains.

They are generally active during the day and at rest during the night.

Jumping spiders are generally carnivorous, but some don’t mind taking a sip of nectar.

Most feast on small insects or spiders around their size. Others are bold enough to take on much larger prey like lizards and frogs up to three times their weight.

10. Ground Spider Facts

Ground spider
Ground spider (Gnaphosidae). Photo © Henrikhl

Ground spiders don’t make webs, but their thick silk is useful in binding prey. They rest during the day and hunt at night, sometimes chasing larger spiders.

During an attack, they quickly shove the sticky strands into their target’s mouth and legs. By immobilizing prey, ground spiders reduce their risk of injury and prolong their lifespan up to 3 years.

People don’t have to worry about them because they not aggressive with humans. There are no records of seriously venomous bites.

Ground spiders are found all over the world, except in extremely cold regions.

They are generally small with bodies under half an inch long.

Many of the species of ground spiders are brown, although they may also sport red or orange markings.

They live outdoors, finding shelter under stones and logs. Sometimes they may even live within mulch or leaf litter. While chasing prey, they might follow it indoors and hide under furniture or appliances.