A horse spider is called a miracle of nature, a special type of arthropod. Among other representatives of this type of insect, he stands out by his ability to jump and is the owner of excellent vision. Many researchers claim that he even has intelligence. Spider Steed is a name that combines a whole group of insects. There are more than six hundred species. Representatives of this species are quite common in various parts of the world. Most of them prefer warm countries with a tropical climate.
Origin of view and description
Photo: Spider Steed
Horse spiders are representatives of arthropod arachnids, spiders are singled out in the order, a family of horse spiders. Spiders of this species are representatives of flora and fauna, which are found almost everywhere. One of the subspecies in 1975 was discovered even on the top of Everest, at an altitude of more than 6500 meters above sea level.
The history of spiders has more than 200 million years. The exact period of the appearance of spiders is unknown due to the fact that finds with the remains of ancient spiders are extremely rare, as their body decomposes quite quickly. Scientists managed to discover several important finds in amber. Some other parts of the body of ancient representatives of arachnids were found in frozen resin. In appearance, they were small insects, whose body size did not exceed 0.5 centimeters.
The cephalothorax and abdomen had practically no separation. The ancient spiders had a tail section, which was intended for weaving cobwebs. Instead of a web, they developed a kind of dense, sticky thread. Spiders used them for wrapping a cocoon, lining their den, or for other purposes. The ancient ancestors of modern spiders practically did not have glands that stimulate a toxic secret.
There is a version that ancient spiders appeared on Gondwana. Then they spread very rapidly across almost the entire earth. The subsequent ice ages reduced the habitat of spiders, and with them many species of ancient arthropods died out. It was common for spiders to evolve fairly quickly, mutate, and divide into species.
Appearance and features
Photo: Black Spider Steed
The spider steed is distinguished by a rather sharp vision, which is required for a successful hunt. The organs of vision are represented by the eyes in an amount of eight pieces. They are located in three lines. On the first line are the four largest eyes.
Interesting fact: The front organs of vision are able to rotate up and down, as well as in different directions. With the help of just such moving eyes, spiders distinguish between shapes, silhouettes, and colors.
The second row of visual organs is represented by two small eyes. The third row consists of two larger eyes located on both sides of the head section. This structure of the visual system allows you to evaluate the situation at 360 degrees. This way you can easily avoid meeting the enemy. Vision helps for a successful hunt. The features of the visual system also lie in the fact that spiders are able to see each organ individually and put everything into a single picture. The retina also has an unusual structure, which allows you to reliably determine the distance to the desired object, object.
Distinctive features have a breathing system. She even has peculiar lungs and a trachea. The size of the horse’s body does not exceed the size of a five-copeck coin. The average body length is 5-7 millimeters. Sexual dimorphism is expressed - females have a larger body than males. The cephalothorax and abdomen are separated by a thin groove. Different types of horses have a diverse appearance and color depending on the habitat. Some species may look like scorpions, ants, or beetles. The head section of the body is significantly higher; it is raised up above the abdomen.
Now you know whether the spider is a poisonous horse or not. Let’s see where he lives.
Where does the horse spider live?
Photo: Horse spider in Russia
Spiders live almost everywhere. They can creep in vegetation, walls, in soil, on trees, shrubs, in nooks of various buildings, etc. The habitat varies by species. Horse spiders can live in countries with a tropical climate, they feel good and comfortable in deserts, semi-deserts, or even in the mountains. Preference is given to regions with a warm climate, like sunlight.
Geographic habitats of the Pak steed:
- New Guinea;
- North America;
The lifestyle of a horse spider and its habitat varies greatly among representatives of various subspecies of this species. One of them tends to weave a web and spend most of their time on it, others manage to build silk nests that are equipped in various secluded corners, while others can simply live quietly on the surface of the earth, or on any kind of vegetation. Surprisingly, spiders are completely unpretentious in choosing living conditions. They are easy to meet mono even high in the mountains, or on rocky terrain.
What does a horse spider eat?
Photo: Red Horse Spider
A well-developed visual system allows spiders to get their own food. When a potential victim appears, the spider instantly turns in her direction. The horses not only evaluate their prey, but also determine the distance that separates them as accurately as possible. After that, the horse makes an instant jump if the victim is in his range. The front pair of limbs is used to capture and fix the victim. Arthropods penetrate the insect chitin protective layer with chelicera and inject poison inside. It not only immobilizes and paralyzes the victim, but also partially digests the internal organs of the captured insect, turning them into a single continuous liquid substance. This substance with pleasure drink horses, leaving only a chitinous membrane.
What serves as a food base for a horse spider:
- spiders inferior in size and dexterity;
Spiders can also catch their potential food with the help of their woven web of prey. They spread their cobwebs on tree branches, blades of grass, branches of bushes. Spiders have a special structure of limbs. On them are bristles of small size and small nails, which allow you to move on any surface, including flat, smooth glass.
Features of character and lifestyle
Photo: Spider Steed
Horse spiders are considered exclusively daytime arthropods, since it is in the daytime that they tend to be most active and hunt. They love sunlight and warmth. Often these spiders tend to bask in open sunny areas. These spiders are not at all afraid of people, they can settle in the immediate vicinity of them. Seeing a person, the horse does not rush to hide, or seek shelter. He watches him with interest. Often it is this type of arthropod that is called orderlies. This is due to the fact that when spiders appear in new regions that have not been previously settled, spiders rid the area of harmful insects.
To obtain food for these spiders helps not only phenomenal vision, but also another special function of the body - the hydraulic system. This is the ability of the body to change the pressure level in the limbs, so the size and length of the limb itself can vary. This allows arthropods to jump at different lengths. Often spiders make jumps of such a length that are 15-20 times the size of their body. However, for insurance, jumpers fix a strong thread where they want to jump.
By the end of the day, spiders are looking for a secluded place in which they twist their cobwebs. Such places can be found in the sockets of the walls, under the bark of trees, under pebbles, etc. If the weather on the street deteriorates, there is no sun, it is cold and raining, spiders hide in their shelters for a long period of time. In the mornings in sunny weather they leave their shelters. After the spiders warm up well in the sun, they go in search of food.
Interesting fact: Scientists consider this type of spider to be brave insects, since they take flight only in extremely rare cases. When trying to escape from the enemy in this way, the horse quickly runs away, constantly turning in his direction. Spiders spend the cold season hiding in their shelters.
Social structure and reproduction
Photo: A pair of horse spiders
Males differ from females not only in size, but also in color, in particular, in the color of the front pair of limbs on which the strips are located. Each subspecies is characterized by individual characteristics of the mating season. However, all representatives of horse spiders have one thing in common - the bewitching dance of a male individual. Such a dance allows you to attract the attention of the female you like. During such a dance, the male lifts his limbs up and taps himself on the chest with a certain rhythm. If several males pretend to the attention of one female, the primacy of one who has longer pedipalps. If the female person has not reached puberty, it is common for males to expect this moment.
Male individuals weave a kind of web, to which drops of seminal fluid are attached. Then he drops the pedipalps into the seminal fluid and only then transfers the seed to the body of the female. Before laying eggs, the female chooses a reliable shelter and lines it with cobwebs. This can be a space under stones, bark of trees, in wall crevices, etc. After a secluded place is found and prepared, the female lays eggs and carefully guards them until the offspring are born.
After birth, young animals do not need a mother, since they immediately have hunting skills. The female is removed. After several links, the offspring that were born reach puberty. The average lifespan of a spider in natural conditions is about a year.
Natural enemies of horse spiders
Photo: Spider steed in nature
Spiders have quite a few enemies in their natural habitat. In order to save lives, many spiders mask themselves externally as other insects - ants or bugs.
The danger to spiders is the birds that eat these small arthropods. Of particular interest to them is the spider-bird. It is also worth noting that it is these spiders that hunt lizards or frogs, as well as insects, which are larger in size. Spiders tend to eat each other if there are no other objects nearby that could become prey. This is not only about the female, which after mating can eat a male. Often, adult, sexually mature spiders attack young animals.
Very often, horse spiders fall prey to riders. These are parasitic insects that lay eggs on the surface or inside the body of spiders. After some time, larvae appear from the eggs into the light, which slowly eat the arthropod from the inside. If there are too many larvae, they provoke the death of the spider.
Population and species status
Photo: Black Spider Steed
Today, horse spiders in sufficient numbers inhabit various regions of the earth. They are not threatened with extinction, and this species does not need protection. They are an integral part of the ecosystem. Due to the fact that nothing threatens their numbers, they eat insects in large numbers, which are harmful to many species of vegetation. Very often, the settlement of spiders near a person saves him from insects, which can be carriers of dangerous infectious diseases. Also, in places where horses are settled, productivity is significantly higher due to the fact that pests in the form of insects are several times smaller.
No special programs and activities aimed at preserving or increasing the number of insects are carried out. An informational work is being conducted with the population that spiders of this species are not able to harm them, and do not pose a threat to life and health. Therefore, they should not be destroyed, since they not only pose no danger, but, on the contrary, bring benefits.
Spider Steed is an amazing representative of arthropods, which has excellent eyesight, is able to jump, and also has a respiratory system uncharacteristic for these representatives of flora and fauna. It is worth remembering that this species of arachnids is not dangerous to humans. Neighborhood with him is even beneficial to humans.