When people think of spiders, they often imagine small, creepy creatures that crawl along in the dark looking for something to bite with their long, poisonous fangs. Fortunately, readers of Zoobooks Spiders know that spiders are helpful, useful, and fascinating creatures that rarely do anything to harm humans. In fact, most spiders aren’t even poisonous to people, and they help protect plants by eating insects when there are too many of them.

Scientists have named about 30,000 species of spiders that come in all kinds of colors, shapes, and sizes. Each of these spiders is one of the two specific types of spiders: wandering spiders or web building spiders. Wandering spiders have thick legs built for walking longer distances, while web builders have thin legs that help them balance on the tiny threads of their webs.

Both types of spiders have many different methods of catching prey. Web builders creatively use their webs to make sticky funnels, lassos or nets that snare insects for dinner. Wandering spiders often catch their prey through a surprise attack. Some hide in secret burrows or jump from a long distance away. Other wandering spiders have even been known to catch their prey by fishing for it or spitting on it!