Spider, order Aranea
There are many species of spiders around the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, including grass spiders, fishing spiders, crab spiders, orbweavers, and more. How many different spiders can you find?
Spiders are some of the most recognizable arachnids around the world and can be found everywhere except Antarctica. Along with mites, ticks, and scorpions, spiders are arachnids and not insects. Insects have 6 legs, 3 body parts, and typically wings as well. Can you name and describe arachnids’ body parts? (Spiders have a head, an abdomen, and 8 legs) Spiders may look scary, but most won’t bite unless provoked, and nearly all avoid humans altogether. Plus, they help to keep pesky bugs like mosquitoes and cockroaches away!
Climate change and a warming planet may not exactly pose problems for spiders. In addition to being able to range farther north, research suggests that warmer temperatures will allow spiders to grow larger and move up to three times faster. Spiders don’t use muscles to get around, but instead are filled with fluids to move their limbs. As temperatures increase, these fluids move more easily, allowing spiders to better crawl, scuttle, weave, and jump.
Spiders won’t be going away anytime soon — which is good news, because many other insects will benefit from climate change as well, and we will need their help! Can you find any mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, or other pests caught in a spider’s web nearby?