How Many Eyes Do Spiders Have? Fascinating Facts For Kids

Anamika Balouria
Feb 29, 2024 By Anamika Balouria
Originally Published on Oct 27, 2021
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Macro closeup on Hyllus semicupreus Jumping Spider.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

A spider is an ubiquitous insect species that can readily live in human habitations. Spiders utilize their silk webs to conceal gloomy corners of different families' homes.

Spiders vary along with the functions they perform. Some spiders have a greater number of eyes, while a few have no eyes, which evolve in spider species according to their dwelling.

There are basically two varieties of spiders: hunting spiders and web spiders. Both types of spiders have their own body types, heads, and their size also varies on the basis of what they eat. A web spider has limited eyesight, and it is mostly dependent on tactile cues and chemical signals to catch its food or prey.

Hunting spiders such as wolf spiders, net-casting spiders, and jumping spiders are known for their hunting and web traps on the ground, though they do not indulge themselves much in making webs. If you ever see any spider on the floor, then it might be a hunting spider, such as a jumping spider, whose hunting might have been interrupted by you. Spiders have eight, four, six, or two eyes on their heads in a row, depending upon the species.

Though many species of spiders who indulge in the web-making process have limited eyesight, they can detect light and dark objects or changes taking place around them. Some species of spiders have the type of vision that helps them detect polarized light. Hunting spiders are known to have good eyesight in the light of day, such as wolf spiders, jumping spiders, and net-casting spiders.

If you enjoy reading this article about how many eyes a spider has, then do read some interesting and surprising facts about how many teeth sharks have and how many legs ants have. 

How many eyes does a spider have?

There is no specific answer to the question above. Generally, spiders have eight eyes, but this varies on the basis of species. Some spiders have six eyes, four eyes, and two eyes, while some spiders do not have eyes.

There are many species of spider, over 40,000 species. Every creature on earth, even humans, has lived or evolved themselves through the passage of time according to their environment. Human eyes help them to see everything around them. In the same way as in other insect species, spider eyes help them with their motion by showing them where to go, help them find food by helping them detect or catch their prey, and help them build their webs.

Spider eyes vary depending on the family the spider belongs to. The number of spider eyes a spider has helps classify the family of the spider. The exact answer to the question how many eyes does a spider have is that it varies between two to eight eyes. Similar to human eyes, spiders can have two eyes each on their head, usually on either side of their head, called side eyes, and a maximum of eight eyes, like a few other species of animals in the world that have more than two eyes.

For example, spider species from the family Caponiidae have two eyes, such as the Diploglena proxila of South Africa. Spiders from this family have an unusual ability to grow more eyes with an increase in their age. The spider species from the families of Anapidae, Scytodidae, Dysderidae, and Sicaridae have six eyes. Spiders with a number of eyes that is four belong to the family Miagrammopes and the family Symphytognathidae.

Why do spiders have so many eyes?

Spiders have many eyes because it helps them see the world around them, similar to the eyes of humans. The front eyes, called primary eyes, are used for hunting spiders or prey, and the side eyes, called secondary eyes, help to detect motion. However, it might vary in different species.

A spider's vision, or eyesight, plays an important role in its life. Everything around us evolves for certain primary or secondary reasons. Similarly, spiders have also evolved according to their surroundings. Some spiders have two eyes, while some have eight because spiders they have evolved according to their environment. Even some species of spiders can't see and explore the world with tactile and chemical cues.

Spiders usually do not have a neck, but instead can look back with an extra row of eyes, which helps them to see things around them more clearly. Now you have got an idea about why spiders have so many eyes. In one way or another, if spiders lack some body part, they at least might have some extra body parts such as eyes, which help them to sense their predators and even catch their prey.

Eyes have a different role in spiders. For example, jumping spider eyes that are in the middle of the head help them to see things around them with the best vision, while side eyes of jumping spiders help spiders catch predators who live in caves, burrows, or tree holes. This is how nature has balanced different creatures to live together in the world.

Most spiders have bad eyesight at the same time and sense things around them through vibrations and taste. Many spiders cannot see light and dark things around them because they have poor eyesight. For example, the huntsman spider is a giant spider that can be seen hunting spiders and other species even without eyes. Wolf spiders have eight eyes, similar to the number of eyes of a jumping spider. They are not in the category of the web spider.

Macro closeup on Hyllus semicupreus Jumping Spider.

How many eyes does a house spider have?

Tarantulas, like most house spiders, have eight eyes.

The house spider is a night-time species that has trouble seeing and sensing objects around it in the darkness or low light. When there is light, these spiders detect movements with the help of their eyes. They are mostly dependent on other parts of their body to sense anything around them. Most house spiders engage in building webs as well as hunting small insects and small species of animals with the help of their legs and the front eye on their head. The myth of spiders having 16 eyes is invalid, and a spider can have a maximum of eight eyes in total.

What is the benefit of so many eyes for spiders?

The spider's eyes help it catch and eat its prey, which includes small insects; sense animals that might be predators; and protect itself from danger.

Different species of spiders have eight eyes. They need an extra set of eyes because they are not good at web building and can not catch their prey on webs. Spiders such as jumping spiders will use their primary eyes for vision, while other sets of eyes help them to catch their prey and protect themselves from predators.

Everything in our environment changes for a variety of causes, both primary and secondary. Spiders have evolved in response to their environment. Because spiders adapt to their surroundings, some have two eyes, while others have eight. Tactile and chemical clues are insufficient for some spider species to see and explore the world.

Secondary eyes help spiders detect the movements of things around them. This helps them to attack their prey, while engaging in a fight with their predator. The anterior lateral eyes of the spider are the most important pair of eyes for it. These eyes are located next to their principal eyes. Most spiders face in a forward direction, and not having a neck makes it difficult to turn their heads and detect motions. Without these eyes, the spider would be in great trouble.

If the anterior lateral eyes of the spider were to be damaged, then these spiders would be unable to defend themselves against dangers around them. Irrespective of the important function of the principal eyes, if the anterior lateral eyes of spiders are damaged, then spiders will fail to detect the movement of small animals and insects. Among the eyes, two important functioning parts, the anterior lateral eyes are more important.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how many eyes do spiders have, then why not take a look at how many teeth do alligators have or how many teeth do snails have?

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Written by Anamika Balouria

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

Anamika Balouria picture

Anamika BalouriaBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated and enthusiastic learner, Anamika is committed to the growth and development of her team and organization. She holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English from Daulat Ram University and Indira Gandhi Institute for Open Learning respectively, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Amity University, Noida. Anamika is a skilled writer and editor with a passion for continual learning and development.
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