What Are Spider Legs Called?


If you’re wondering what spider legs are called? you have come to the right place in this article, we’ll answer this question for you.

Spiders are amazing creatures, they have 8 legs and more than 45,000 species. Many people fear spiders, and almost all of the spiders have venom, but only a handful of spiders are capable of hurting humans seriously, these spiders include the black widow and the brown recluse.

So what are spider legs called? Well, spider legs are called Appendages, which is not specific as it means something attached to the main body, but as we have generalized that all the spider limbs are their legs, so the term “Appendages” is quite suitable.

Before we go on further discussing spider’s legs, we ought to know are spiders even insects.

Why Spiders Aren’t Insects?

Spiders belong to a group of animals called “arachnids”.  Scorpions, mites, and ticks also belong to the same family.  Arachnids are creatures with two body segments, eight legs, no wings or antennae, and are not able to chew. Many people think that spiders are insects but they are mistaken since insects have six legs and three main body parts.  Most insects have wings. So, spiders are not insects they are Arachnids.

Insects vs Arachnids

Spiders’ Legs

Spiders’ legs are quite fascinating, spiders typically have 8 legs while insects have six. These legs are the only limbs in a spider body. These legs are quite complex and they have seven segments. Starting from the body the spider legs are divided into coxa, trochanter, femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus, and tarsus. The end of the tarsus segment has claws, and the number of these claws differ from spider to spider. Usually, the spiders that make webs have three claws, while the hunting spiders have 2 claws.

Spider Legs

Another, a fascinating feature of spider legs, is that they use it as an antenna, they have setae on their legs which helps them pick up scents, sounds, vibrations, and air currents. In adult males, the tarsus segment is sometimes also modified and used for mating.

What Are The Hair On A Spider’s Legs Called?

The hair on a spider’s legs are called Scopulae, these hair are found at the end of a spider’s legs and are found mostly on hunting spiders. Scopulae consists of setae, which are microscopic hair and setae further consists of even smaller hair called setules.

Spider Hair

Setae are also used as an antenna to sense things like scents, these hair, however, have another feature that is very important, they provide adhesion so that spiders can climb even the smoothest of surfaces.

Where Do Spiders’ Legs Get Attached?

Now that we’ve established that spiders have 8 legs, you might be wondering where are the spider’s legs attached. These legs have 7 different segments and they are attached to the cephalothorax, which is derived from a Greek word meaning Head and Thorax.

Spider

The different segments of a spider include coxa, trochanter, femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus, and tarsus. The coxa is attached to the cephalothorax, and all the other segments of the legs are joined together like a chain.

Can A Spider Survive With Legs Missing?

Legs are indeed an important part of a spider’s body, even though they have 8 of them. Spiders can get around with almost no problem, even if they lose two to three legs, the problem occurs when they lose more than that. Which legs they lose is also a factor in survival, for example, if they lose all the legs from one side only, their survival would be more difficult.

That said, spiders losing legs is quite common, some spiders even amputate themselves in order to live longer, this happens because regeneration increases their time to molt, so they remain younger. On the other hand, if an adult spider loses its leg, it can not regenerate the leg.

Do Spiders Feel Pain When They Lose A Leg?

There’s a lot of grey area in this, some researchers say they do feel pain, just like we do, while others say they don’t. What we do know for a fact is that, if a spider loses its legs, its muscles clamp shut, so that they do not lose enough blood. Spiders can also live just fine, even if they lose two to three legs, and if they have a molt left, they can regrow their legs.

How Spiders Move Their Legs?

How spiders move their legs is quite fascinating and a natural example of hydraulics, you see spiders do not have muscles inside their legs, they only have muscles in the joint that connects their legs to the cephalothorax.

Spider

So in order to extend their legs, they regularly increase and decrease pressure. This change in pressure sends hemolymph (spider blood) to the legs, which results in stretching the legs. That is why spider movement is quite robotic when compared to other animals that have muscles in their limbs.

Conclusion

Spiders are indeed great creatures, they have 8 legs which are called appendages. Each leg has seven different segments, and they use the principle of hydraulics to move around. Spiders also sense and feel from their legs and it is quite normal for a spider to lose its legs, they can also survive with two to three legs missing, and can regenerate their legs when molting.

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