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by Joseph K H Koh
What are spiders?
Where to find spiders?
How to collect & perserve spiders?
How to rear spiders?
Links and further readings
Buy the guidebook
What are spiders?
Spiders are members of a large category of animals called Arthropoda: All Arthropoda have joined legs and an outer skeleton whose components include a horny substance called chitin.

Phylum Arthropoda includes the following groups:
More about spiders

Are spiders venomous?

Scientific names of
spider parts

How to identify spiders?

How are spiders
named and classified
Class Crustacea: Crabs, prawns, lobsters, etc
Class Chilopoda: Centipedes
Class Diplopoda: Millipedes
Class Insecta: Insects
Class Arachnida: Spiders and other Arachnida

Class Arachinda includes Arthropoda with four pairs of legs, with neither wings nor antennae. The body is divided into two parts: the cephalothorax in front and the abdomen, or the two parts are fused into an unsegmented whole. The Class includes smaller groups such as the following:
Order Scorpionida: Scorpions
Order Phalangida: Harvestmen
Order Acarina: Mites and ticks
Order Araneidae: Spiders
close-up of decorative pattern on spider abdomen
Batik Golden Web Spider
(Nephila antipodiana)

web showing white X-shaped bands
St Andrew's Cross Spider
(Argiope versicolor)
Spiders are different from other Arachnids in at least three ways:
  • The abdomen is attached to the cephalothorax by a narrow waist. In scorpions, harvestmen and mites, the cephalothorax and abdomen are joined by a broad connection.
  • Although some primitive spiders have plates corresponding to segments at the abdomen, the abdomen of spiders is not divided into segments as in scorpions.
  • Spiders are the only Arachnids that are equipped with spinnerets at the hind end of the abdomen for silk production.
From "A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders" by Joseph K. H. Koh
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by British Petroleum<
© 2000 Joseph K H Koh