Unveiling the Mystery: How Many Legs Do Spiders Really Have?

» Anatomy » Unveiling the Mystery: How Many Legs Do Spiders Really Have?

Have you ever wondered “how many legs do spiders have?” This is an intriguing question that has fascinated people for centuries. In this article, we’ll uncover the answer to this fascinating question. We’ll explore the behavior of spiders and their anatomy to uncover the truth about how many legs they have. So, read on to find out the answer to this age-old question.

Classification of Spiders

Classification Of Spiders

Suborder Mesothelae

Spiders in this suborder have only two pairs of legs, making them quite distinct from other spiders.

Suborder Mygalomorphae

Spiders in this suborder have four pairs of legs and are burrowing spiders.

Suborder Araneomorphae

Spiders in this suborder have eight legs, making them the most common of all spider species.

Characteristics of Spiders

Characteristics Of Spiders

1. Anatomy

Spiders are arachnids, which means they are related to mites, ticks, and scorpions. They have two body segments, eight legs, no wings or antennas, and no chewing mouth parts.

2. Legs

Spiders have eight legs, which are divided into two body parts. The first body part is the cephalothorax, which is composed of the head and thorax. The second body part is the abdomen. All spiders have eight legs that attach to the cephalothorax. Each leg has seven segments and is equipped with claws and spines.

Spider Movement

Spider Movement

Spiders are able to move in different directions and speeds due to their eight legs. The legs of a spider are composed of seven segments and each segment has a set of joints that allow it to move. Spiders have the ability to move in any direction, up, down, sideways and even diagonally. They can also move very quickly, with some species able to reach speeds of up to 1 meter per second.

Spiders use a variety of techniques to move, such as walking, running, jumping, and climbing. They can also use webbing to suspend themselves in the air or to quickly move from one place to another. The most distinctive type of spider movement is called ‘scurrying’ where they move quickly in a zig-zag pattern.

Type of Movement Description
Walking Slow, steady movement in any direction.
Running Fast, straight-line movement.
Jumping Explosive, short-distance movement.
Climbing Climbing up, over, and around obstacles.
Webbing Suspending themselves in the air or quickly moving from one place to another.
Scurrying Quickly moving in a zig-zag pattern.

Spider Legs

Spider Legs

  • Spiders have eight long and jointed legs.
  • The legs are covered in tiny hairs and are usually very sensitive to touch.
  • Spiders use their legs to detect vibrations and movement.
  • The legs are usually thin and can be easily damaged.
  • Spiders can use their legs to climb, jump, swim, and even fly.
  • Most spiders have four pairs of legs, while some have six or eight pairs.
  • The legs are also used to capture and hold prey.
  • Spiders can also use their legs to weave webs and create silk strands.

1 Number of Legs

1 Number Of Legs
Spiders have eight legs. They have four pairs of legs, with each pair connected to the cephalothorax. Each leg has seven segments, each segment having a pair of claws at the end. Spiders use their legs for movement, sensing their surroundings, and capturing prey.

Types of Spider Legs

Types Of Spider Legs
Spiders typically have eight legs, each of which is divided into seven segments. The first segment is the coxa, which attaches to the cephalothorax. The next five segments are the trochantera, the femur, the patella, the tibia, and the metatarsus. The final segment is the tarsus, which has a pair of claws at its end. Some spiders may have fewer legs, while others may have more.

1 Pedipalps

1 Pedipalps
Spiders have two appendages called pedipalps. These are usually longer than the legs, and look like legs but are not used for walking. They are used to help the spider sense its environment and help with gripping prey. The pedipalps are also used as ‘feelers’ to detect vibrations. The pedipalps contain taste and smell receptors, and can also be used to transfer sperm during mating.

2 Spinnerets

2 Spinnerets

  • Spinnerets are appendages of the abdomen in spiders.
  • They are used to produce and control the thread of silk.
  • They are found at the end of the abdomen in most spiders.
  • They usually have two to four pairs of spinnerets.
  • Spinnerets have a number of small openings on their side.
  • These openings are connected to silk glands in the abdomen.
  • The spider can control the production of silk through these spinnerets.
  • Spiders use their spinnerets to build webs, wrap prey and make egg sacs.

3 Walking Legs

3 Walking Legs
Spiders have eight legs, arranged in two rows of four. The first two legs on each side are modified for sensing and are called the pedipalps, while the other six legs are used for walking. All eight legs have three segments each and end in a pair of claws. While the front two legs are used for sensing, the other six legs are used for locomotion. Each of the legs has three segments – the coxa, the trochanter and the femur. The coxa is attached to the spider’s body, the trochanter is the joint between the coxa and the femur and the femur is the last segment which ends in the claws. Spiders use their walking legs to move around, climb walls, and even swim.


  • Spiders have evolved to have eight legs, which are covered in individual hairs for sensing their environment.
  • Their legs are also adapted to be able to move quickly and easily on different surfaces, as well as to be able to climb vertical surfaces.
  • Spiders also have strong chelicerae (jaws) which they use to capture prey, and they can inject venom into their prey to make it easier to catch.
  • The front two legs of some species of spiders can also be used as feelers, helping them to detect vibration and movement in their environment.

Factors Influencing Leg Numbers

Spiders have eight legs, but there are some rare exceptions. Certain species of spiders can have fewer legs, or even more legs than eight. The number of legs a spider has is determined by a combination of factors, including the species of spider, the age of the spider, and the condition of the spider.

Factor Leg Number
Species A species of spider can have a different number of legs than other spiders.
Age Young spiders may have fewer legs than adult spiders.
Condition Injuries or illness can cause a spider to lose legs.

For example, the linden spider (Eurolindesia) is known to have six legs, while the Hawaiian happy-face spider (Theridion grallator) can have up to 12 legs. In addition, some species of spiders may have legs that are shorter or longer than the other legs. However, most species of spiders have eight legs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Legs Does a Spider Have?

Spiders have 8 legs. They are actually arachnids, not insects, and they also have 8 eyes and 2 body parts. Spiders have one pair of pedipalps (short, leg-like appendages) and four pairs of legs. The pedipalps are used to grab prey. The legs of spiders are covered with hairs and have claws at the end that help the spider move around.

What is the purpose of a spider having 8 legs?

Spiders have 8 legs so that they can move quickly and capture prey. The legs of a spider have a wide range of motion and can move in different directions, allowing it to make quick turns and manoeuvre around obstacles. By having 8 legs, the spider can provide a larger surface area for support and stability when walking or running. The legs also help the spider to sense vibrations, which can alert it to the presence of prey.

Are there any spiders with a different number of legs?

No, all spiders have eight legs. The number of legs may vary in different species of spiders, but they all have eight legs. They also have two body segments, the cephalothorax and the abdomen. The cephalothorax is where the eight legs are attached, and the abdomen is where the spider’s organs are located.

Are Spiders the only Creatures with 8 Legs?

No, spiders are not the only creatures with 8 legs. Octopuses, squid, and other cephalopods have 8 legs, as do some species of millipedes. However, spiders are the only type of arthropod that have 8 legs. Arthropods are a group of invertebrates that have a segmented body and jointed legs, and include insects, arachnids, and crustaceans.

Why do spiders have so many legs compared to other creatures?

Spiders have eight legs compared to other creatures which usually have six. This difference is due to spiders being from the arachnid family, which is characterized by having eight legs. Additionally, spiders’ legs are specially adapted for movement, with a combination of jointed segments and hardened exoskeleton for strength and flexibility. This allows spiders to move quickly and efficiently, giving them an advantage in the wild.


Spiders have eight legs and two body parts, an abdomen and a cephalothorax. They have four pairs of jointed legs and two additional appendages called pedipalps. The number of legs and body parts vary between spider species, but all spiders have eight legs. Spiders use their legs to move around, catch prey and build webs.

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