So the spider pictured has only 7 legs, even though spiders have 8 legs. This guy has obviously lost one–who knows how–but thankfully, spiders can regrow lost legs. The next time he molts, he will likely have 8 legs again.
As for the two leg-like-looking things at the front of the body–these are called pedipalps. All spiders have them, just as insects have a pair of antenna. Pedipalps are sensory organs and also used to manipulate prey. In mature males, the palps are enlarged like in this photo–not for boxing! but for storing their sperm. When they find a receptive female, they will transfer sperm to her through these pedipalps. Talk about an odd way to have sex!
Click HERE to check out the next puzzler. Or, if you’d like, read about some spider myths that must be debunked. Want to learn more about spiders and live in or near Asheville, NC? Then come join me this Friday night for an informal FREE program at a nearby store. Click HERE for more info.