The horse spider is called a miracle of nature, a special kind of arthropod. Among other representatives of this species of insects, he stands out for his ability to jump and is the owner of excellent vision. Many researchers claim that he even has intelligence. A horse spider is a name that combines a whole group of insects. There are more than six hundred species of them. Representatives of this species are quite common in various parts of the world. Most of them prefer warm countries with a tropical climate.

Species origin and description

Photo: Jumping Spider

Photo: Horse spider

Horse spiders are representatives of arthropod arachnids, classified in the order of spiders, family of horse spiders. Spiders of this species are representatives of flora and fauna, which are found almost everywhere. One of the subspecies was found in 1975 even on the top of Everest, at an altitude of more than 6500 meters above sea level.

The history of the existence 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, since their body decomposes rather quickly. Scientists managed to find several important finds in amber. Some other body parts of ancient arachnids have been found in hardened resin. In appearance, they were small insects, whose body size did not exceed 0.5 centimeters.

Video: Horse spider

The cephalothorax and abdomen had practically no separation. Ancient spiders had a tail that was designed for weaving webs. Instead of a web, they developed a kind of dense, sticky thread. The spiders used them to wrap their cocoons, line their dens, or for other purposes. The ancient ancestors of modern spiders had practically no glands that stimulate the poisonous secretion.

There is a version that ancient spiders appeared in Gondwana. Then they very rapidly spread throughout almost the entire earth. The subsequent ice ages reduced the habitat of spiders, and with them many species of ancient arthropods became extinct. It was common for spiders to evolve, change and divide into species quite quickly.

Appearance and features

Photo: Black Horse Spider

Photo: Black Horse Spider

The horse spider is different quite sharp eyesight, which is required for a successful hunt. The organs of vision are represented by eight eyes. They are arranged 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 these 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 assess the situation at all 360 degrees. In this way, you can easily avoid meeting with the enemy. Vision helps for successful hunting. Features of the visual system also lie in the fact that spiders are able to see each organ separately 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.

The respiratory system also has distinctive features. It even has peculiar lungs and a trachea. The body size of a horse does not exceed the size of a five-kopeck coin. The average length of the body is 5-7 millimeters. Sexual dimorphism is pronounced – females have a larger body than males. The cephalothorax and abdomen are separated by a thin groove. Different types of horses have a variety of appearance and color depending on their habitat. Some species may look like scorpions, ants, or beetles. The head section of the body is significantly higher, it is raised above the abdomen.

Now you know whether the spider is poisonous or not. Let's see where it lives.

Where does the mount spider live?

Photo: Horse spider in Russia

Photo: Horse spider in Russia

Spiders live almost everywhere. They can creep in vegetation, walls, soil, trees, shrubs, in secluded corners of various buildings, etc. The habitat depends on the species. Horse spiders can live in countries with a tropical climate, feel good and comfortable in deserts, semi-deserts, or even in the mountains. Preference is given to regions with a warm climate, they love sunshine.

Geographical regions of the pack horse habitat:

  • Queensland;
  • New Guinea;
  • North America;
  • New South Wales;
  • Africa;
  • Australia.

The lifestyle of a horse spider and its habitat varies greatly among representatives of various subspecies of this species. Some of them tend to weave a web and spend most of their time on it, others manage to build silk nests that they equip in various secluded corners, others can simply live quietly on the surface of the earth, or on any type of vegetation. Surprisingly, the spiders are completely unpretentious in the choice of living conditions. They are easy to meet even high in the mountains, or on rocky terrain.

What does a horse spider eat?

Photo: Red Horse Spider

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 its direction. Horses not only evaluate their prey, but also determine the distance that separates them as accurately as possible. After that, the mount makes an instant jump if the victim is in its reach. The front pair of limbs is used to capture and fix the victim. With chelicerae, arthropods pierce the chitinous protective layer of insects and inject poison inside. It not only immobilizes and paralyzes the victim, but also partially digests the internal organs of the caught insect, turning them into a single continuous liquid substance. Horses drink this substance with pleasure, leaving only a chitinous shell.

What serves as a food base for a horse spider:

  • spiders, inferior in size and dexterity;
  • flies;
  • bugs;
  • mosquitoes;
  • caterpillars.

Spiders can also catch their potential food with the help of a web weaved by them. They spread their web on the branches of trees, blades of grass, branches of shrubs. Spiders have a special structure of limbs. They have small bristles and small nails that allow you to move on any surface, including flat, smooth glass.

Peculiarities of character and lifestyle

Photo: Jumping Spider

Photo: Horse spider

Jumping spiders are considered exclusively diurnal arthropods, since it is during the daytime that they tend to be most active and hunt. They love sunshine and warmth. Often it is these spiders that 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 this type of arthropod is called orderlies. This is due to the fact that, appearing in new, previously uninhabited regions, spiders rid the area of ​​harmful insects.

Not only phenomenal vision helps these spiders to get their food, but also another special function of the body – the hydraulic system. This is the ability of the body to change the level of pressure in the limbs, due to which the size and length of the limb itself can vary. This makes it possible for arthropods to jump to different lengths. Often spiders make jumps of such length that they are 15-20 times their body size. However, for insurance, jumpers fix a strong thread where they want to jump from.

By the end of the day, spiders are looking for a secluded place in which to weave their web. Such places can be found in the cracks of the walls, under the bark of trees, under pebbles, etc. If the weather outside deteriorates, there is no sun, it is cold and it is raining, spiders hide in their shelters for an extended period of time. In the mornings in sunny weather, they leave their hiding places. After the spiders warm up well in the sun, they go in search of food.

An interesting fact: Scientists consider this type of spider to be a brave insect, 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 around in his direction. Spiders spend the cold season hiding in their shelters.

Social structure and reproduction

Photo: Pair of Jumping Spiders

Photo: A Pair of Jumping 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 stripes are located. Each subspecies is characterized by individual characteristics of the mating season. However, all representatives of jumping spiders have one thing in common – the bewitching dance of the male. Such a dance allows you to attract the attention of the female you like. During such a dance, the male raises his limbs and taps his chest with them in a certain rhythm. If several males claim the attention of one female, the one with the longer pedipalps takes precedence. If a female has not reached puberty, males tend to wait for this moment.

Males weave a kind of web, to which they attach drops of seminal fluid. Then he lowers the pedipalps into the seminal fluid and only then transfers the seed into the body of the female. Before laying eggs, the female chooses a secure hiding place and lines it with cobwebs. This can be under rocks, tree bark, in wall crevices, etc. After a secluded place is found and prepared, the female lays eggs and carefully guards them until the offspring is born.

After birth, the young do not need a mother, because immediately has hunting skills. The female is removed. After a few molts, the offspring born into the world reach puberty. The average lifespan of a spider under natural conditions is about a year.

Natural enemies of horse spiders

Photo: Horse spider in nature

Photo: Horse spider in nature

Spiders have quite a few enemies in their natural habitat. It is in order to save lives that many spiders disguise themselves externally as other insects – ants or bugs.

The danger to spiders is represented by birds that eat these small arthropods. The spider bird is of particular interest to them. It is also worth noting that lizards or frogs, as well as insects that are larger in size, are happy to hunt these spiders. Spiders tend to eat each other if there are no other objects nearby that can become prey. This is not only about the female, which, after mating, can eat the male. Often adult, sexually mature spiders attack young ones.

Very often, jumping spiders become victims of wasps of riders. These are parasitic insects that lay their eggs on the surface or inside the body of spiders. After some time, larvae appear from the eggs, 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 Horse Spider

Photo: Black Horse Spider

To date, 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 types of vegetation. Very often, the settlement of spiders near a person saves him from insects that can be carriers of dangerous infectious diseases. Also, in places where horses settle, the yield is significantly higher due to the fact that pests in the form of insects are many times less.

No special programs and activities aimed at preserving or increasing the number of insects are carried out. Information work is being carried out with the population that spiders of this species are not capable of harming them, and do not pose a threat to life and health. Therefore, they should not be destroyed, since they not only do not pose a danger, but, on the contrary, are beneficial.

The horse spider is an amazing representative of arthropods, which has excellent eyesight, can jump, and also has an uncharacteristic for data representatives of flora and fauna respiratory system. It is worth remembering that this type of arachnid is not dangerous to humans. Neighborhood with him is even useful to a person.

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