Spiders are arthropods that belong to the order Araneae. A spider’s body is separated in two parts, the cephalothorax and the abdomen. Unlike insects, spiders do not have an antennae. The more advanced spiders have a centralized nervous system. Most spiders have four pairs of eyes on the top-front area of their body. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except Antarctica. There are over 48,000 species of spiders! Almost all spiders are predators and most eat insects. They catch their prey in several ways. Some build webs and some use a thread of silk to throw at insects. Some species hide in holes in the ground and then grab unsuspecting prey. Some can jump quite well and hunt by sneaking up close to their prey. Most use venom from their fangs to subdue and kill their prey. It is rare for spiders to capture prey that are larger than they are. Though all spiders have venom to one degree or another, only a handful are dangerous to humans. Those include the black widow and the brown recluse, both found in the United States. The vast majority of spiders are harmless and serve a crucial purpose and that is controlling insect populations that could otherwise devastate crops. Without spiders to eat pests harmful to agriculture, it’s thought that our food supply would be at risk.