Spiders have eight legs, two body segments (cephalothorax and abdomen) separated by a waist, and unlike the insects, they do not have chewing mouthparts, antennae or wings. Spider jaws are called chelicerae, and include hollow fangs through which they inject venom to immobilize or kill their prey.

Spiders prey on small living invertebrates, such as insects or other spiders. Unable to swallow solid food, spiders liquefy their prey externally by regurgitating digestive juices onto it. They then crush the prey with their chelicerae and suck up the juices. Spiders have a pair of jointed appendages (called pedipalps or palps) on either side of the chelicerae that look like short legs. Palps help manipulate the prey during feeding.


A spider’s body is divided into two sections: the cephalothorax, which bears the eyes, mouthparts, and legs; and the abdomen, which bears the genital structures, spiracles and anus. Unlike insects, spiders have eight legs and no antennae.

Common Spiders found in New York:

Black and Yellow Garden Spiders: Black & Yellow Garden Spiders are one of the largest in Northern New York. Like all orb weavers the Spiders web is a masterpiece. The web is rebuilt every morning to keep its tackiness.  The females are hundreds of time larger then the male.

Daddy Long Legs: These spiders much like ticks aren’t true spiders because they only have one body segment. They do not have venom but can produce a foul scent. They hunt small insects and feed on plant juices.

Jumping Spiders: Jumping spiders are easily identified by their large eyes, squat bodies and sturdy legs. Jumping spiders have excellent vision. They get their name from their ability to jump impressive distances while searching in vegetation or for prey.

Wolf Spiders: These spiders are sightly fury brown or grey that run after their prey. They have long sturdy legs. They have good vision from two of their eight large eyes. The baby spiders hang out on the mothers’ backs. At night if you hold a flashlight at the same level as your head look for silvery blue green spots reflecting back at you from the blades of the grass. These are the eyes of Wolf spiders.



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