Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Some fascinating facts about spiders

Horizontal orbweb spider. Image - Dru Burger

Horizontal orbweb spider. Image - Dru Burger

  • Little Miss Muffet of the nursery rhyme really existed. She was the daughter of Dr Mouffet who believed spiders had healing powers when eaten.
  • The weight of insects eaten by spiders every year is greater than the total weight of the entire human population.
  • There can be up to nearly 5 million spiders per hectare.
  • The combined length of thread in a spider's web is about 20-60 m and it can take the spider up to 3 hours to make an orbweb.
  • On an equal weight basis, spider silk is twice as strong as steel. In addition, spider silk is very elastic. It is this combination of strength and stretch that makes the energy-to-break of spider silk so high. Simply put, it is the toughest material known.
  • Spiders have 48 "knees": 8 legs with 6 joints on each.
  • A jumping spider can jump up to 25 times its own body length.