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Spider (Animals) #47


Spiders or Araneae (order Araneae) are arthropod invertebrate predators of the class Arachnids. They have eight legs and do not have wings or antennae or masticatory parts in the mouth. Their eyes can be single or multiple. They secrete silk (a protein solution synthesized by glands usually located at the end of the abdomen) that is used to produce the thread that allows them to move, to weave their web or cocoons imprisoning their prey or protecting their eggs or small, or even make a temporary reserve of sperm or dome allowing them to store air under fresh water. Of the 44 000 known species in this order in 20141, only one is mainly herbivorous, Bagheera kiplingi, and only one submerged, Argyroneta aquatica. As predators, spiders play a major role in the regulation of insect populations, and they are themselves regulated by often specific predators (reptiles, birds or insects of the family Pompilidae). They have adapted to almost all environments, from cavernicolous to mountainous, from arctic to equatorial environments. Only salt water, very high altitudes and very cold environments have not been colonized by the Araneae. The branch of arachnology devoted to them is araneology. The fear of spiders or arachnophobia is one of the most common phobias.


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