SPIDERS

Spiders are eight-legged creatures, and they are one of the biggest orders of arthropods. South Africa is home to about 3,000 different spider species, including the common "Daddy Long Legs (Pholcida)”.

They differ from insects in having only two parts to the body, eight legs, six or eight eyes (two in insects) and spinnerets on their abdomens that produce silk. All 40,000 species of spiders can spin silk, but each spider has its own evolutionary specialisation. For example, one spider might specialise in catching prey with sticky webs while another might rely on the strength of its silk for defence.

People are afraid of them, but they are extremely valuable in the environment. You need to worry about the only a few types of venomous spiders in South Africa, and none will kill you. They include rain spiders, baboon spiders, black and brown button spiders, sac spiders and the violin spider. Some of these bites can lead to pain, nausea, shortness of breath, nausea, disorientation and skin lesions. They may require medical treatment, particularly in the case of children.

  • Expert Advice

    EXPERT ADVICE

    Keep your outdoor lights off at night as this will attract insects, which spiders love to eat. With a higher insect population, you will attract spiders to the area as well.

  • Fun Facts

    SPIDER SUPERPOWERS

    Jumping spiders can see in the ultraviolet spectrum. A few species can see both UVA and UVB light.

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