Can Spiders Hear?

Spiders cannot necessarily “hear” as they do not actually have ears.  They do however have sensory nerves (tiny hairs) that are located in the ends of their legs.  These tiny hairs are also known as thrichobotria; which they use to search for vibrations or squeaks from mates.  Certain spiders are even known to emit a squeak that is inaudible to the human ear.

Spiders are very interesting creatures that feel vibrations that act in a way that sound does and allow the spider to locate where the sound is coming from as well as its approximate distance from the spider.  Put in simpler terms, the spider is able to interpret the movement of air that is produced by a sound something makes in order to determine its exact location.  Along with hairs on their legs, spiders are also equipped with tiny slits all over their legs for feeling vibrations.  So spiders may not be able to “hear” you, but the senses they are equipped with still make it a possibility for them to know when you or potential danger is nearby.

Do Spiders Hibernate?

Whether spiders hibernate or not is dependent upon the particular species that spider is.  For instance spiders such as the garden orb weavers, different widow varieties and argiopes only live during one season and die during the winter, leaving behind thei egg sac for next season.  Other species such as the fishing spider or the tarantula that typically live longer, may hibernate in winter by spending their time underneath the bark of trees or rocks, in cellars, attics, etc.  Some adults even survive by preparing a winter nest of silken webbing under loose bark within which they are insulated from the cold.

In several species of spiders, young spiderlings hatch out and then remain in a communal webbed egg sac through the winter.  Those spiders that hibernate in leaf litter and rock piles are not usually found to be in a deep sleep and on mild winter days may be found crawling about in search of insect food that is plentiful and easy to secure in its dormant state.

Do Spiders Drink Water?

Most spiders do drink or require a regular daily amount of water.  In the wild, most spiders will drink from any available source such as droplets on vegetation or the ground or from early morning dew that has gathered upon their webs.  If a spider is kept in captivity it is good to provide them with a fresh water source such as in a small bottle cap or a damp sponge for smaller species, and a small dish for larger species.

It is a myth that spiders live in drains.  When you find a spider in a building or in the shower, it is usually because it’s a good source of water for them and then they typically remain trapped because the sides are too slippery or steep for them to climb back out.

Depending on the species, different spiders may use different methods to quench their thirst.  The whistling spider which resides in the desert, covers its burrow with a thin layer of silk to keep it humid and dew or raindrops are captured using a silk covered mound near the entrance.  Some species of spiders ingest nectar, while others quench their thirst by drinking dew drops in early morning.

A common practice for many species of spiders to follow as a way to get their regular intake of water is to consume their spider web first thing every morning.  By doing this they consume water that has condensed as droplets onto the web.  Other spiders may use their pincers to take water from their webs and place it into their mouths.

While, spiders such as the black widow and the red back do not drink water at all.  Instead they get all of the fluid that they require by sucking the juices from their prey.

Do Spiders Have Brains?

Spiders, like humans have the same basic bodily systems that we do however they do not work in the same way and are also arranged differently throughout the body.  In spiders what is known as the cephalothorax contains the brain, stomach, eyes, and mouth and the abdomen contains the heart, digestive tract, reproductive organs and lungs.

One of the most astounding things about spiders is that they are equipped with very small brains.  However how much they can accomplish with such a small brain is almost unheard of!  The spider’s central nervous system is made up of two relatively simple ganglia, or nerve cell clusters that are connected to nerves leading to the spider’s muscles and sensory systems.  Some species of spiders have even exhibited learning behavior.  For instance, if something isn’t working they will give up and try something new.

Are Spiders Nocturnal?

When it comes to spiders, most species are nocturnal.  However some species such as the jump spider or the garden orb weaver are diurnal.  During their evolutionary history, some species of spiders have even changed from a nocturnal lifestyle to a diurnal lifestyle.  The important change in their environment was irradiation by sunlight.  Orb webs of diurnal spiders may be affected by exposure to ultraviolet irradiation whereas those of nocturnal species may be unaffected.

The effects UV rays have on the mechanical properties of spider silks is something that should be seriously considered.  The webs of orb weaving spiders must trap insect prey, which closely relates to the breaking energy of the spider silk constituting the orb webs.