What's The Truth: Are Spiders Bugs? What's The Difference?

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 13, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Oct 25, 2021
Spider and spider web in dew in heavy fog at dawn.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.5 Min

Spiders are arthropods and belong to the phylum Arthropoda.

These eight-legged creatures are often confused to be insects. There are more than 450,000 different species of spiders found across different parts of the world.

Frequently, spiders and insects are confused with one another. Bugs are often referred to as insects that can be found commonly in a human household. However, spiders do not specifically fall under this category. Spiders are not insects.

They are arachnids. Arachnids refer to those creatures with eight legs, and their bodies are divided into two segments. They do not possess the ability to fly, nor do they have any antennae.

Most of the species of spiders are venomous, except a few, like Uloboridae. Spiders use their venom to prey on other smaller insects. They do not necessarily harm human beings unless provoked. Here's a helpful guide to help understand the difference between spiders and bugs.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about six-eyed sand spider ​facts and are spiders nocturnal? Here on Kidadl.

What are the tiny red bugs that look like spiders?

Clover mites are tiny red-colored invertebrates, with eight legs, that belong to the kingdom of Animalia. They are closely related to spiders (although not the same) and are often confused with one other. One type of invertebrates includes scorpions, whip scorpions, ticks, and mites.

Clover mite infestation is a common occurrence in many households. They are rather tiny creatures and are not at all dangerous to humans.

They prefer warmer temperatures over cold areas and therefore can be spotted on the outdoor walls of a house. They make their way inside the house through cracks and crevices of windows and doors.

Getting rid of clover mites from your home can be a troublesome experience for many, because of their huge numbers. If you find, a clover mite infestation in your home, the immediate response would be to call a professional pest control company.

Are all bugs with eight legs spiders?

The main difference between spiders and insects is that insects have six legs, while arachnids are creatures with eight legs. Insects and arachnids both belong to a larger group of animals called, arthropods. Arthropods include crustaceans, which are shrimp, crabs, and lobsters, as well.

Both insects and arachnids have bodies divided into segments and an exoskeleton, which is a hard exterior body covering. However, insects have three body parts, namely the head, thorax, and abdomen, whereas, arachnids have only two body parts called, the cephalothorax and abdomen.

Unlike insects, arachnids, do not have any wings for flight, or any antennas. Not all bugs with four pairs of legs are spiders though. Other types of arachnids include scorpions, mites, and ticks.

Are bugs and spiders different?

Scientifically, a bug is an insect that belongs to the group Hemiptera. An example of an insect that belongs to the group Hemiptera is Cicadas.

However, it is also used to refer to land arthropods. An arthropod is a large group of animals that include insects (Insecta), arachnids (Arachnida), and crustaceans. Insects belong to the class Insecta and arachnids belong to the class Arachnida.

Spiders are not insects. A spider is an arachnid with four pairs of legs and two main body segments, whereas insects have six legs and their body is segmented into three parts, namely the abdomen, head, and thorax.

Both insects and arachnids have an exoskeleton, however, arachnids do not have wings or antennae as insects do. Arachnids include scorpions, spiders, and mites, while the different examples of insects are ants, bees, and wasps.

Spiders are venomous, although not all species are. They use their venom to attack their prey.

Web-building spiders feed on a variety of insects, like flies. They use their jaws to chew on the flies, after covering the body with a digestive liquid. Sometimes, they also tend to poison the fly with their venom and then wrap it in silk, for later consumption.

Spider Tarantula on white background.

Why are spiders considered bugs, not insects?

Spiders and insects are not the same. Spiders belong to the class of Arachnida. While, bugs, scientifically speaking, refers to the group Hemiptera, the term is also often used to refer to land anthropods. Anthropods include insects, arachnids, and crustaceans. Cicadas are a type of insect that belongs to Hemiptera.

Bugs are not insects. They are animals that include insects.

Both insects and arachnids have an exoskeleton and are invertebrates. However, while insects have only three pairs of legs and their body is segmented into three parts, thorax, head, and abdomen, arachnids are animals with bodies segmented into only two parts.

Unlike arachnids, insects also have wings. Spiders are known to eat various types of insects and can feed up to four times per day if there is a large variety of insects available. Most of the species of spiders are in fact venomous.

They use their venom to attack their prey and paralyze it. They do not usually use their venom on human beings unless they feel threatened or provoked.

Other types of arachnids include scorpions, whip scorpions, mites, and ticks. Most arachnids are in fact beneficial to human beings, because they keep insects and pests, in check, by feeding on them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are spiders bugs? Then why not take a look at are snake plants toxic to dogs? And ways to keep your pet dog away, or Canada's pride: how is maple syrup made facts pages?

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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