You either like them or you hate them, but spiders are some of the most unique and fascinating creatures on the planet. Other than the oceans, you can find them almost anywhere on the planet and some of them have developed the most ingenious ways to hunt, mate and hide from predators. Let’s take a look at just five of these amazing - and yes, creepy - creatures.
These amazing looking spiders are found in Australia. Although their little dance might look like they’re getting ready to attack an enemy, they actually raise their colourful abdomens and boogie down in order to attract a mate. Just like a peacock bird, these tiny little spiders use their colourful bodies to impress female spiders. You’ll have a hard time seeing them as they’re only 5mm long, so small they could fit on your thumbnail!
You can find these horned spiders all over the world. Even though they look pretty mean, they’re actually really harmless. The crab-like horns and spines on their backs are meant to deter predators. But since the spiny orb weaver is only about 5-9 mm long, they’re probably quite hard to see. If you look really hard, you might find one in your garden.
The jumping spider is the easiest to identify because of its unique square-shaped flat face. They have 4 sets of eyes with the two in the front being much larger than all the others. Most of these spiders can jump several times the length of their bodies. Before they jump, they let out a filament of silk to tether themselves just in case their jump doesn’t work out and they have to climb back up to where they started. Although jumping spiders feed on insects, there is one species that is vegetarian and feeds primarily on plants.
You’re probably thinking that the bird dung crab spider must really stink. You’re right. But think of how smart this spider is. Its body is covered in warts and blobs that look like bird dung and it smells like poop. With this yucky camouflage predators aren’t too interested in eating it. And as a bonus, its camouflage helps attract the moths that are its favourite food. You can find these spiders in Asia.
The green lynx spider gets its name from its bright green colour and because they move fast, jumping from place to place like a lynx. Found in the southeastern United States and Mexico, their legs are covered with bristle-like hairs called setae making them look spiny. Unlike other spiders they don’t spin a web, instead they jump into the air to catch insects in flight. The female spider is bigger than the male at about 16 mm in length, which is about the size of a stack of 11 pennies. Just watch out - although these spiders aren’t poisonous they do bite!