When it comes to bugs, most people try to avoid them. Spiders especially seem to have a habit of frightening people away. With a tendency to avoid spiders, it’s no surprise that there are some misconceptions about them. We went ahead and separated the spider facts from fiction. Check out five myths about spiders.
1. All Spiders Make Webs
This one is definitely a little surprising. From early on, we are taught about spiders and the webs they weave. While every spider produces silk, they don’t all create webs. Some spiders use their silk for climbing, creating egg sacs and nests, and as a safety precaution if they fall. Spiders who decide to go web-free must find other ways of eating dinner. For example, the jumping spider stalks its prey, eventually ambushing it with a jump attack.
2. Spiders Are Insects
Spiders are technically not insects. They are classified as arachnids. Arachnids have four pairs of legs, two body segments, and lack antennae. To be considered an insect, certain criteria must be met. Six legs, an exoskeleton, and a segmented body with three sections are necessary to be classified as an insect. Most insects also have antennae. Unfortunately, this means spiders won’t make the cut for team insect.
3. Spiders Have 20/20 Vision
Despite most spiders having eight eyes—some actually have six—they have relatively poor eyesight. Spiders have to rely on their other senses for survival. They tune into the vibrations of their webs. This alerts them to any prey that has landed. It also helps them identify any damage they need to repair. There are always a few exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, spiders won’t pass their yearly eye exam.
4. All Webs Look the Same
We may not notice the design of a spider’s web when we are knocking it down, or running away from it, but the shape varies. Spiral orbs, tangled, sheet, funnel, and triangle webs are all woven by spiders. Each web is designed to help the spider capture prey by its preferred means. For example, funnel-web weavers use their web to hide as they wait for bugs to enter their homes. If you take the time to look at the design, you’ll have an idea of what spider you’re about to encounter.
5. You Swallow Spiders While You Sleep
This myth has been around for a while, but thankfully, it’s very unlikely you will swallow a spider while you’re sleeping. Many things would have to fall into place for that to happen, and spiders tend to avoid humans. They prefer to hide in areas that are dark and secluded. If spiders approach something, they usually think they can eat it. These arachnids know the difference between humans and their food. Your movements or any noises, like snoring, will also scare spiders away.
Several tales have clearly been spun about spiders. When you don’t spend a lot of time with them, it makes sense that there would be some confusion. Now, you have the facts. Did any of these spider myths surprise you? Let us know in the comments below!