Hide a Spider

Spiders have many predators. Predators are animals that hunt and eat other animals. Birds, frogs, toads, snakes, scorpions, lizards, centipedes and even some wasps all eat spiders. Most spiders are not aggressive, but go on the defense for their survival.



The first line of defense for a spider is its web. Besides capturing prey, webs perform "double duty" in protecting spiders from predators. Webs come in many shapes and sizes, depending on how the spider is adapted to its habitat. Click here to learn more about spider webs.



Often, the easiest way for an animal to defend itself from predators is to run away or hide. But, spiders also try to hide from their predators by using camouflage, to blend in with the background.

Look at the crab spider in the picture. Notice how well it blends in with its environment. This is camouflage in action!

Now, try your luck in helping other spiders hide in the Hide a Spider section!



Spiders will also try to protect themselves from their prey by trying to act like, or copy the appearance or shape of another animal or non-living object. This is called mimicry when we see these "copycats" in action in nature.

Let's look at the Wasp-mimicking Spider of Australia, the Sunpunna picta. It is one of the fastest spiders around, which helps it to run away from predators. But, while it runs, it waves its two forelegs above its body to copy the behavior of a wasp to scare away its predators.


Another type of mimicking spider is the Ant Mimic Spider. These are also called the Clubinoid spiders.

These spiders will hold their first pair of legs like the antennae on an ant. They will even change the way they walk to mimic the ant. In this way these tricky spiders can live with the ants without being eaten!


Camouflage and Mimicry Links

Check out these COOL links to see and learn about unique examples of camouflage and mimicry with other animal species.

You can also learn even more about spiders and their use of camouflage by visiting the Virginia Spiders section of this site!