There are around 3,600 described species of spider across Australia, however it is estimated that there are 10,000 species. Spiders are a type of Arachnid and are in the largest group of animals on Earth, the arthropods. In ancient Greek Arthropods means jointed foot: arthro = joint, podos = footed. All arthropods are animals with hard external skeletons and jointed limbs.
What are Arachnids
Arachnids include spiders, scorpions, harvestmen, ticks and mites.
Arachnids are animals that have:
- eight walking legs
- two main body parts
- jaws adapted for tearing or piercing prey
- simple eyes
- a skeleton outside the body
A spider’s body has two parts; head and thorax are fused together to form the cephalothorax and the abdomen. The cephalothorax and the abdomen are joined by the pedicel.
Australian spiders have a fearsome reputation, but a death in April 2016 was the country’s first recorded spider-caused death since 1981. It’s still a good idea to know how to identify some of Australian spiders.
Backyard Buddies is a free initiative run by the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. It gives you simple tips to transform your backyard into a safe habitat for native animals. Find out how you can Backyard Buddy.