Glossary of spider terms

Terms used to describe spider biology and anatomy.

Abdomen the second body section
Advanced retaining fewer ancestral characteristics
Anterior towards the front
Araneomorphs 'modern' spiders
Basal retaining 'primitive' features not present in more 'advanced' families
Calamistrum a row of toothed bristles on the metatarsal segment of the last leg, used to comb out cribellate silk
Cephalothorax the first body section - head and thorax fused together
Cribellate silk see cribellum
Cribellum a flat spinning plate covered with thousands of tiny spigots. Together, these spigots produce a multi-stranded, 'wool-like' cribellate silk
Dragline silk provides the spider's safety line and is also used to make the frame and radial lines of the orb web
Mygalomorphs trapdoor spiders and their relatives - 'primitive' spiders
Pedicel slim waist between cephalothorax and abdomen
Posterior towards the back
Primitive retaining many ancestral characteristics
Rugose having many wrinkles or ridges
Spigots hollow, hair-like silk outlets on the spinnerets
Spinnerets silk spinning organs

 

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