Spiders are Not Insects

While both spiders and insects have exoskeleton and both look alike, there are many features that separate spiders from insects. They both are arthropods, but belong to separate Classes. Learn the important differences between these two magnificent groups.

Spiders:

  1. Spiders are invertebrates (the creatures without vertebral column) and fall under Class arachnida.
  2. The first significant feature is that all spiders have eight legs.
  3. The body is divided into two parts: Head and Abdomen.
  4. The legs sprout out from the back part of the head.
  5. All the spiders are predators, very smart and are effective killers.
  6. They inject the prey with their venom which digests the insides of the prey, so that the spider can drink up the predigested protein-rich soup.
  7. Except a few species, most spiders hunt regardless of the time of the day, especially those web building varieties. The kill begins when the prey gets stuck to the web.
  8. All species of spiders are venomous, but only a few are venomous enough to kill a human.
  9. The venom is delivered using its pair of fangs on the head (front end).
  10. They can produce silk from the two gun-like shapes at the bottom of the abdomen (rear end).
  11. All spiders can spin a web though many would not bother to construct one.
  12. Spiders have hair like features on their body.
  13. Spiders have simple eyes, with decent amount of vision. Vision is highly developed in some species such as jumping spiders.
  14. They have 4 to 8 eyes depending on the species.
  15. Spiders depend on their sense of touch and sight for hunting and moving around.
  16. Defense is by either staying still and blending with the background; or shaking vigorously and becoming invisible. The funnel webs and other ground based spiders dig themselves a hole in the ground.

Insects:

  1. Insects are also invertebrates, but belong to Class Insecta.
  2. The first significant feature is that insects mostly have six legs.
  3. The body is distinctly divided into three parts: Head, thorax and Abdomen.
  4. The legs sprout out from the thorax.
  5. Depending upon the species of insects, they eat almost anything. Carnivores, herbivores, insectivores, omnivores, piscivores (fish-eating), flower-sucking (bees and butterflies) insects are found.
  6. The insects come with variety of types of teeth: to crush, to bite, to pinch, to suck, to chop, to cut, etc. There are even shear and scissor-like mouth types depending on the dietary pattern.
  7. Insects divide themselves to be diurnal (day-timers) or nocturnal (night-shift). However, quite a few are active only during dawn and dusk.
  8. Not all species of insects are venomous. Only a few like the scorpions are venomous, and only a very rare few are strong enough to bring down humans.
  9. The venom is delivered by various means. The scorpion and bees use their club or sting in the tail (rear end).
  10. Their silk is the modified form of their saliva (front end).
  11. Not all species of insects can produce silk. A few species such as silkworm and pupating caterpillars can produce high quality silk.
  12. Insects, with their caterpillars as exception, do not have hairs. They have bony spikes on their bodies if required.
  13. Most insects have compound eyes, with decent amount of vision. A few insects have good amount of vision, whereas quite a few can see only the colors close to the ultraviolet ranges.
  14. Insects have compound eyes, each of which having hundreds of tiny lenses. The number eyes and the degree of vision totally depends on the species.
  15. Insects use different senses depending on the species – chemical communication is most common one especially in case of ants and termites, vision in case of preying mantis or katydids, smell and heat in case of mosquitoes, touch, in case of cockroaches and insects with long antennas, etc.
  16. Defense is by mostly by hiding behind or within the leaves. However, there are a few insects which use chemical weapons such as bombardier beetle. Curling up, standing up for a fight, freeze to blend with the background, etc are some defense strategies used.
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43 Responses to “Spiders are Not Insects”
  1. Crystal31 Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Thnx 4 the info.!!


  2. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 3:43 am

    You’re welcome Crystal


  3. Noeal V Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 3:47 am

    I haven’t heard this before. Thanks for Sharing Raj.


  4. drelayaraja Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Great info Raj…


  5. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Nice to know that Noeal. Thanks


  6. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Thanks a lot Doc


  7. Lwandaz Tale Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Well laid out. Good work in dispelling a common misnomer


  8. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 4:12 am

    @Lwandas: Thanks for the appreciation :)


  9. Christine Ramsay Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Very interesting and well presented facts.

    Christine


  10. Linvio Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 6:42 am

    i didn’t know this.. thanks..


  11. The Soul Explorer Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Cool!


  12. Saurav Banerjee Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Nice info. It’s good that you have put up some cute pictures of the spiders. Otherwise people with arachnophobia, like me , couldn’t have tolerated it.


  13. Saurav Banerjee Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Nice info. It is good that you have put up some cute pictures of the spiders. Otherwise people with arachnophobia, like me , could not have tolerated it.


  14. jamesrcoffey Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 8:08 am

    From a zoologists’ point of view, it is the absence or presence of antennae that is the prime deciding factor. And in that some spiders do that antennae, and other varieties of bugs have physical features of both insects and anthropods, those that are not easily classified are usually termed “insects” (including spiders).


  15. thresiapaulose Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Excellent information. Thank you Raj Tora


  16. GodsGrace Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Nice Info


  17. Mr Arrogant Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

    That’s really a great article
    spiders are creepy but yeah not insects


  18. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Thanks Christine, Franklin and Marco


  19. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Yes Saurav, the hidden agenda is to remove the fear and hatred towards spiders, as people don’t give a second thought to kill these magnificent creatures.


  20. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Very many thanks for adding to the arsenal James. Truly appreciate it :)


  21. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Thanks Theresia, GG and Mr. Arrogant :)


  22. Kaye TM Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:44 am

    thanks for the share. i like it


  23. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Thanks Kaye


  24. Nykesha Alexandra Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:49 am

    This is great! Thanks for sharing..


  25. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Thank you Alejandro :)


  26. earthlyjewels Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Really…i didn’t know that. Thanks for the info!


  27. My World Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Nice post………

    thanks for share.

    :-)


  28. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 11:19 am

    The information is very much true Jewels :)


  29. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Thanks Onkar


  30. sapphirelaws22 Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I always like the pictures in your articles. They make your articles more interesting.


  31. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks Sapphire. :)


  32. wonder Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 4:11 am

    This was very interesting.


  33. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Thanks Wonder!


  34. Jessie Will Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 4:37 am

    I understood they do have the defense methods in common – both spiders and insects blend with the ground/surrounding? Did I understand right?
    And, since I’m quite ignorant in etymology: if there is Class Arachnida, what are the other ‘arachindas’ (vs. insects)? Sorry if my question sounds dumb :)
    Thanks for the great info!


  35. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Yes Jessie, they have defense mechanism of camouflage, as well as other hiding techniques. All arachnids are spiders. I guess you are querying about the other so-called insect varieties like centipedes and millipedes which do not fall under Class Insecta.


  36. akira14 Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    good one raj, I begun remembering it way back in my days dealing with the subject biology. You are absolutely right :)


  37. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks Akira


  38. clandestinef Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Interesting and Informative. Great post.


  39. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks Clandestine


  40. Tattoo3658we Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Very good information, I love to learn about different animals and insect, even those arachnids.


  41. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Thanks Ajsta :)


  42. Volen Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks for the information and details. Very informative.


  43. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks Volen!


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