Arachnids: Spiders, Ticks and Scorpions

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Arachnids are a type of arthropod. You know many of them as spiders. Common arachnids are spiders, scorpions, ticks and mites.

Like other arthropods, the arachnids have a hard exoskeleton and jointed appendages for walking. Most arachnids have 4 pairs of legs. In some, the first pair of legs may be used for holding their prey and feeding. Unlike other arthropods, arachnids do not have antennae.

spider

Spiders are easily recognized with their 8 legs. All legs are used for walking. The first pair of legs is also used for holding prey and feeding. The second pair of legs may also be used for holding and killing their prey. Most spiders have 8 eyes. Spiders have fangs that are used to inject poison to paralyze or kill their prey. Many spiders can produce silk threads to spin webs for catching prey, and for building an egg sack to hold and protect their eggs.

Scorpion

Scorpions are large arachnids, some reaching over 8 inches in length. They have 4 pairs of legs, and a pair of pincers for catching and holding their prey. Scorpions also have a sharp stinger at the end of their tail that is used to paralyze or kill insects and small animals.

Mites and ticks are small arachnids that are parasites living on the blood and tissue fluid of other animals. They can occasionally transmit disease.

For more information also see our Arachnid Video Collection.

Web Sites about Arachnids:

Arachnids section at Animal Kingdom

Pictures of Spiders from the Australian Museum Online

 
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