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How many different types of spider are there? You might be surprised!

Posted by David Penney on

Love them or loathe them, spiders seem to be all over the place, whether it be sitting on a flower head, hanging in the middle of a beautifully geometric orb web or scuttling across your floor. But ... have you ever stopped to wonder how many different types there are? Even in the UK most people can probably only recognize a handful of different types. For example, the common house spider, the daddy-long-legs spider, the common garden spider, the zebra jumping spider (seen on walls on sunny days), and possibly a few others.

David Penney arachnologist

Author of the blog with a giant Nephila spider in West Africa

In the UK alone there are around 650 different species of spiders, but how does this compare to the global picture? As of this, the World Spider Catalog formally documented the 46,000th spider species ... yes, 46 thousand! However, spider scientists (arachnologists) estimate that this is probably only around 20-25% of the true total of spider species that exist worldwide. So, the total number is probably closer to around 160,000 different species. For the arachnophobes among you, do not worry, the British fauna is very well known so we do not expect many new species to be described from the UK. In fact, in terms of described species spiders rank 7th after the five largest insect orders (Diptera - flies, Coleoptera - beetles, Hemiptera - true bugs, Lepidoptera - butterflies and moths, Hymenoptera - ants, bees and wasps) and the mites and ticks (Acari).

Research on spiders does not concentrate solely on describing new species. They form the focus of many different aspects of biological and palaeontological research projects. To mark this new arachnological milestone we are offering a MASSIVE 36% off our spider research volume using the following code at checkout: 36000. Offer valid for 50 sales only, so click the cover below to order now and to see reviews, contents and more information about this title:

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