Hosts or Prey
A wide variety of insects, spiders, and other arthropods
Spiders have two main body parts, the abdomen and cephalothorax (head and thorax combined). They have four pairs of legs and leglike appendages in front called palps.
Most spiders have eight eyes, and their arrangement and relative size help to distinguish the spider family. Some groups have only two or six eyes. Some cave-dwelling spiders lack eyes. Whether or not spiders spin a web, and if so what type, also helps to distinguish the family.
Spiders hatch from an egg and develop through five or more spiderling (immature) stages before maturing into adults.
Some species capture prey in silken webs. Others stalk insects across the ground or vegetation or lay in wait and pounce on prey.
Spiders seek to avoid people. Most spiders are harmless to humans and are beneficial because they consume insects. To minimize encounters with potentially hazardous recluse and widow spiders, reduce clutter near entranceways and near the ground.
If spiders are coming indoors, see Integrated Pest Management Checklist for Early Care and Education Programs (PDF) from UC San Francisco and Pest Notes: Spiders from UC IPM. These list steps to take in and around buildings to eliminate or greatly reduce arthropods coming inside. For example seal cracks and crevices through which insects and spiders enter buildings. To manage spider problems use integrated pest management (IPM).
At least 54 families and over 1,000 spider species occur in California.
- Brown Recluse and Other Recluse Spiders, UC Integrated Pest Management Program
- Common Garden Spiders, UC IPM Quick Tip
- Common Garden Spiders (video), UC Integrated Pest Management Program
- Hobo Spider, UC Integrated Pest Management Program
- Spiders, Biology and Management, UC Integrated Pest Management Program
- Spiders of California, checklist of species, UC Berkeley
- Spiders on the Web (and Other Arachnids) of Orange County, California, photos of 200 California species, UC Irvine
- Widow Spiders and Their Relatives, UC Integrated Pest Management Program
- Zoropsis Spider, UC Integrated Pest Management Program
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae