Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Protect Spiders:They Are Beautiful And Useful

There are different life forms around us, and our reactions to each of them is different, depending upon their known importance and our understanding and perception about them.

Those forms which serve as our food, are source of medicines, and provide materials of economic importance are always in demand, while other forms according to general perception of people have attached tales of being harmful, dangerous and poisonous. Still others arise feelings of amusement, awe, dislike, even animosity leading to their killing at first sight.

It is likely that a spider sighted hopping on the floor, dangling on its web, or hiding behind the door, lead to its smashing with the newspaper roll, or sucking by the vacuum cleaner. Parents instead of  inducing fear against spiders may start teaching their children love and respect for spiders as marvellous creatures.

An unknown species of spider

Spiders are a class of not very much understood creatures, and are important to our ecosystem, for they greatly help in keeping in control insects populations. An unwanted spider in the home is only protecting us from mosquitoes, flies and other pests. But this does not reduce their importance as creatures of great value to the ecosystem. 

The most fascinating behaviour of their life is their predatory behaviour and the multiple means to catch their prey. Some spiders jump and catch their prey, others silently attack their prey, still others spin fascinating variety of webs to catch, and then prey on their victims.

A variety  of Tarantulla sp.

Spiders are a group of Arthropods, invertebrates with jointed legs, but unlike insects which have six legs, spiders belong to the group called arachnids which have eight legs. The other close relatives of spiders are scorpions, ticks and mites.

Spiders are ubiquitous, and are found in all continents except Antarctica. There are some 40000 species of spiders, with high order of diversity as a result of their adaptability to different ecosystems.

A closer look of spiders' body show colourful combination of  bright colours.  Their bodies are divisible into a head and abdomen, the abdomen is plump. Most spiders have eight eyes,  and feel vibrations with the help of tiny hairs on their legs. 

Spiders are good jumpers, runners, spinners. There are web-weaving and non-web weaving spiders. The weaving types are: garden spider, water spider, cobweb spider, brown recluse, black widow, funnel weaver, nursery spider.

The example of non-weaving types are: wolf spider, crab spider, tarantula, jumping spider, trapdoor spider, sac spider.

Some species spin symmetrical orb webs which reflects their great intuitive ability to design and position traps in locations that can fetch better catch.

Spiders blood is light blue and fills all empty spaces in the body to provide it shape, blood provides stiffness to legs to help in walking. 

As spiders grow they molt several times, shedding old skin and grow in new one; they molt several times before they become adult. The average life span of a spider is one year, but tarantullas can live longer.

Spiders feed on small and large insects depending upon their size; tarantulas can feed on mice, lizards and birds. Most tarantulas pose no risk to humans, the largest tarantula is known as the Goliath Birdeater. The giant Huntsman spiders has total span of legs up to 30 centi meters.

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