Awesome predators we cannot do without
There are around 100,000 species of spider and almost all of them have two parts to their body and 8 legs. Luckily for us, they are formidable predators and help keep the insect population in check.
With a leg span of nearly 30cm, this is one large creepy crawly you do not want to find in the bath. Luckily their natural habitat is limited to the coastal forests of Venezuela and Guya.
Fastest – Camel spider
These fast and scary spiders, also known as sun spiders, are found in desert regions and can scuttle across the sand at a nifty 10-12 mph.
Smartest – Jumping spider
A group of jumping spiders called Portia are super smart hunters who show incrediblt ingenuity in the tactics they employ to get lunch.
Smallest – Patu digua
This tiny spider is no bigger than the full stop at the end of this sentence. It was discovered in the forests of Borneo – goodness knows how.
Deadliest – Brazilian wandering spider
Nearly half of all spider-related hospitalisations in South America are caused by this aggressive eight-legged brute.
Weirdest – Cartwheeling spider
This hysterical eight-legged lunatic is perhaps the only creature on earth that turns itself into a wheel and rolls downhill. It does so to escape the clutches of its arch-nemesis: the Pompilid wasp.
Longest / Tallest – Darwin’s back spider
This talented spider isn’t that big but it creates super strong spider webs that can stretch over 25 metres (80 feet) across flowing rivers.
Oldest – Tarantula
This honour is thought to belong to a female tarantula who was captured in Mexico in 1935 and reputedly lived to the ripe old age of 28.
Best sense – Touch
All spiders have a fantastic sense of touch; indeed from vibrations alone, a female spider can tell if an intruder on her web is a potential mate or a juicy insect ready to be eaten.
Best master of disguise – Bird dropping spider
Even in the animal kingdom, bird-poo is not considered haute cuisine which is just the way these sneaky spiders like it. With greyish/black and white bodies they hang out on leaves – popular targets for bird droppings – and pull in their legs just to complete the look.