Top Five Spiders
We don’t usually associate spiders with the terms “amazing” or “cute”; they are rather considered something to be feared. But with the sheer variety of shapes and forms they come in, and the different habitats they live in, there are bound to be ones that fall under one of these definitions. You can’t talk about spiders without talking about arachnophobia – fear of spiders or other arachnids – as it affects around 5% of the entire population, which is close to 400 million people. Though it would be rash to call this fear irrational, as there are spiders that can kill you, but most of them are harmless – to humans at least.
Let’s recap spiders before we investigate my favourite ones: spiders are boneless; have eight legs, eight eyes, venomous fangs, build webs, and are good climbers. They have over 48,200 species, and are found almost everywhere on the Earth. I would love to divulge into the amazing features they have developed to survive, but let’s just look at some of them:
- Male Jumping Spider
I start the list with one of the cutest spiders ever. Just look at its eyes! They are quite small, and have specialised hydraulic legs to propel them onto their prey and survive. They do consider a variety of subspecies, one of which will make an appearance. They are active hunters, and have interesting features, like the size difference between males and females.
A rough guide to differentiating tarantulas from other species is that they are hairy, and they are art of the exotic pet trade. They are quite popular as pets, and have decent life spans ranging from 5 to 20 years. These are also the ones that tend to strike the most fear in peoples’ hearts.
3. Magnolia Jumping Spider!
I was shocked to find that spiders come in this color, and these dimensions. They are about 5 mm long – like I could line up 30 of them on a standard ruler. They, too, are a variety of the jumping spider, so they hunt by surprising their prey; however, their jumping distance is small.
4. Wolf Spider
This spider is interesting, not because of it’s looks, but because humans use it as an alternative to pesticides. Wolf spiders are used by cranberry farmers to control pest infestation, without even affecting the cranberries! Interestingly, during harvesting, the crops are flooded, and the berries just float up and are collected, but because spiders can’t swim, they start jumping onto the farmers. Consequently, not being arachnophobic is a requirement to be a cranberry farmer.
5. Spiny Orb Weaver
This, by far, is the coolest-looking spider ever. Period. It comes in the shades of white, black and orange. Even the sizes of the spikes are different for each subspecie. They are also called “crab spiders” – but they aren’t crab spiders. Sometimes, I feel biologists need better naming conventions…