[AS., from spin.] An animal allied to the insects, which spins a web in order to catch flies for food. There are two divisions in the spider's body. The upper, or head part has a horny covering, and is united to the abdomen by a short stalk. Spiders have four pairs of legs, ending in hooks. Near the mouth are hooked teeth which have slits at the ends from which a poisonous fluid is ejected. There are eight eyes on the back of the head. Some spiders spin no web, but jump upon their prey; others, as the tarantula, run it down; but most snare their prey by traps in the form of exquisite webs. he webs of the house spider and cellar spider are woven in many shapes, but the garden spider weaves a geometrical web. At the end of the abdomen of the spider are from four to six spinnerets covered with tiny points, from each of which flows a gummy fluid which hardens into silk when it reaches the air. A web is fastened to an object by simply touching the spinneret with the object. Having arranged the long rays or spokes, a spiral thread is run round and round. Then a silken den to hide in is built near by, with one long thread by which she can feel if a fly strikes the net. Nearly all spiders enclose their eggs in a cocoon, which sometimes the mother carries on her back. Gossamer spiders send out long floating lines which carry them through the air. The water spider makes a bell-shaped cell under the water, and takes down a little bubble of air into the bell to supply it with air. The trap-do or spider lives in warm countries, and has a nest in the ground lined with silk and covered with a lid made by layers of earth and alternate webs fixed to the nest to make a hinge. From the gossamer web of the garden spider are taken the fine threads which are stretched across the lens in the astronomical telescope for accurate sighting.
SPINNERET OF SPIDER.