Parts of a Spider: Dorsal View of a Male Spider
Chelicera: The first pair of appendages which in spiders has become modified into a stout basal part and a smaller distal segment, the fang.
Pedipalp: The second pair of appendages. In mature males the tip becomes an organ used to transfer sperm to the female.
Anterior eye row: The front row of simple eyes. Most spiders have eight but some have six, two, or even none at all.
Posterior eye row: The back row of simple eyes.
Cephalothorax (or prosoma): The anterior (or front) major body segment, literally a fusion of the head and thorax.
Pedicel: A narrow tube which connects the two major body segments, it carries the gut, blood supply, and ventral nerve.
Abdomen (or opisthosoma): The posterior (or back) major body segment.
Spinnerets: Fleshy finger-like appendages which emit silk from tiny spigots at their tips.
Coxa: The first element of the walking leg.
Trochanter: The second element of a walking leg, between the coxa and femur.
Femur: The third element of a walking leg, between the trochanter and patella.
Patella: The fourth element of a walking leg, between the femur and tibia.
Tibia: The fifth element of a walking leg, between the patella and metatarsus.
Metatarsus: The sixth element of a walking leg, between the tibia and tarsus.
Tarsus: The seventh element of a walking leg between the tibia and claw.
Claws: All spiders have two or three tarsal claws.
More About This Resource...
This illustrated guide (dorsal view) to a male spider is designed to help students recognize and learn its common and unique body parts. The single Web page, which can be easily printed for use at field sites or in the lab, also includes a short description for the following labeled parts:
- anterior eye row
- posterior eye row
- cephalothorax (or prosoma)
- abdomen (or opisthosoma)
Less than 1 period
Supplement a study of biodiversity with an activity drawn from this illustrated guide to a male spider.
- Distribute copies of Parts of a Spider: Dorsal View of a Male Spider to students.
- Divide the class into small groups, assigning the pedipalp to each group.
- Have the students research spiders, focusing on how a male pedipalp differs from a female one, and then report their findings to the class.