Spiders (order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms.Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every habitat with the exception of air and sea colonization.
While the venom of a few species is dangerous to humans, scientists are now researching the use of spider venom in medicine and as non-polluting pesticides. Spider silk provides a combination of lightness, strength and elasticity that is superior to that of synthetic materials, and spider silk genes have been inserted into mammals and plants to see if these can be used as silk factories.
As a result of their wide range of behaviors, spiders have become common symbols in art and mythology symbolizing various combinations of patience, cruelty and creative powers.
I expect all of you will have the same opinion with me that spiders are creepy and weird. But some of them are pretty cool for example, the black widow or the daddy long-legs. Today in this article I talks about some of the weirdest spiders that you probably were not aware of.
Theridion grallator, also known as the “happy face spider”, is a spider in the family Theridiidae. Its Hawaiian name is nananana makakiʻi (face-patterned spider). The specific epithet grallator is Latin for “stilt walker”, a reference to the species’ long, spindly legs.
The spider is up to 5 millimeters (0.20 in) long.Certain morphs have a pattern uncannily resembling a smiley face or a grinning clown face on their yellow body. Each spider has a unique pattern, and the patterns differ from island to island. Some lack markings altogether.
On the island of Maui, the happy types seem to follow simple Mendelian inheritance rules, while on other Hawaiian islands the body inheritance patterns seem to be sex-limited.The variation is possibly a kind of camouflage against birds, their only natural enemies of significance, to counteract pattern recognition by predators.
As the pattern may change according to what food the spider has eaten and as T. grallator is very small, hides during the day, and is thus not a significant prey item for any species of predator, it is more likely that the bizarre variety of patterns serves no significant adaptive purpose at all.
Myrmarachne plataleoides, also called the Kerengga Ant-like Jumper, is a jumping spider that mimics the Kerengga or weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) in morphology and behavior. This species is found in India, Sri Lanka, China and many parts of Southeast Asia.
Unlike the weaver ants, M. plataleoides does not bite people, and indeed seems rather timid.M. plataleoides, especially the females, mimic the Weaver Ants in size, shape and color. The body of the M. plataleoides appears like an ant, which has three body segments and six legs, by having constrictions on the cephalothorax and abdomen.
This creates the illusion of having a distinct head, thorax and gaster of the weaver ant, complete with a long and slender waist. The large compound eyes of the weaver ant are mimicked by two black patches on the head. The males resemble a larger ant carrying a smaller one.
The Peacock spider or Gliding spider (Maratus volans) is a species of jumping spider. Octavius Pickard-Cambridge noted in his original description that “it is difficult to describe adequately the great beauty of the coloring of this spider”.
The red, blue and black colored males have flap-like extensions of the abdomen with white hairs that can be folded down. They are used for display during mating: the male raises his abdomen, then expands and raises the flaps so that the abdomen forms a white-fringed, circular field of color.
The species, and indeed the whole genus Maratus have been compared to peacocks in this respect. The third pair of legs is also raised for display, showing a brush of black hairs and white tips. While approaching the female, the male will then vibrate raised legs and tail, and dance from side to side.
Both sexes reach about 5 mm in body length. Females and immature of both sexes are brown but have color patterns by which they can be distinguished from related species.
Spiny orb-weavers is a common name for Gasteracantha, a genus of spiders. They are also commonly called Spiny-backed orb-weavers, due to the prominent spines on their abdomen. These spiders can reach sizes of up to 30mm in diameter (measured from spike to spike). Although their shell is shaped like a crab shell with spikes, it is not to be confused with a crab spider. Orb-weaver’s bites are generally harmless to humans.
Bagheera kiplingi is a species of jumping spider found in Central America including Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala. It is the type species of the genus Bagheera, which includes one other species, B. prosper. B. kiplingi is notable for its peculiar diet, which, uniquely for a spider, is mostly herbivorous. No other known spider has such a thoroughly herbivorous diet.
Bagheera kiplingi is a colorful, sexually dimorphic species. The male has amber legs, a dark cephalothorax that is greenish in the upper region near the front, and a slender reddish abdomen with green traversal lines. The female’s amber front legs are sturdier than the other, slender legs, which are light yellow. It has a reddish brown cephalothorax with the top region near the front black. The female’s rather large abdomen is light brown with dark brown and greenish markings.
Arachnura is a genus of orb-weaving spiders of Australasia, with one species found in Africa and Madagascar. These spiders mimic litter, like twigs or dead leaves, by a brownish color and appendages. They stay at the middle of their web day and night. Among the common names are Tailed spider, Scorpion-tailed spider and Scorpion spider. They do curl up their tail when disturbed, but this tail is completely harmless, as they are not closely related to order scorpion’s. Bites are rare, and result in minor symptoms such as local pain and swelling.
Females are between 1 and 3 cm long, males reach only 2 mm and are tailless. A. logio is called Kijiro o-hiki-gumo in Japanese. A. feredayi is commonly called Tailed forest spider. A. higginsi is often found in large numbers near water in Australia.