anonymous asked:

I am in need of some help. I've been studying spiders recently, I've got their body parts down pretty well. Soon I'll get to learning how to identify them. The only problem is I don't know how to pronounce their parts and names. Halp. I like the blog's new look by the way.

Thank you! And in regards to your question, I honestly have no idea how to pronounce things half the time. I’ve watched many MANY videos and with how many people have spoken, there are about as many pronunciations. Here is how I pronounce certain body parts:

  • Chelicera / Chelicerae: [CHEL - uh - SAIR - uh] / [CHEL - uh - SAIR - ā]
  • Pedipalp: [PEH - dee - palp]
  • Cephalothorax: [SEH - full - ah - THOR - ax]
  • Carapace: [CARE - uh - puss]

I think the rest should be pretty straightforward – again, I have no idea how to pronounce those.

As for the names, You’re going to have to figure out what language the name is in. If it is Latin, you’ll have to use the Latin vowel sounds

a - e (or ae) - i - o - u  =  ah - eh (or ey) - ee - oh - oo


  • Araneus diadematus: [AH-rah-NEH-oos – dee-AH-dehm-AH-toos]
  • Rabidosa punctulata: [RAH-bee-DOH-sah – poonk-too-LAH-ta]

If it is Greek, you’ll have something a little bit different. You’ll have new consonants thrown at you (ch/chi/“k” ph/phi/f” ps/psy/“s”), new vowel sounds and diphthongs, as well as the weird “ey” sound that comes with with an ‘e’ at the end of a word.


  • Dolomedes triton: [DOLL-loh-MAY-days – TRY-ton] 
  • or [DOLE-oh-MEE-dees]

Good luck if you’re looking at something like Apostichus [ah-POH-sti-kuss] species because these exist:

  • Apostichus angelinajolieae
  • Apostichus barackobamai
  • Aptostichus derhamgiulianii 
  • Aptostichus dorothealangeae
  • Aptostichus edwardabbeyi
  • Aptostichus stephencolberti

Just look at the whole list here. It’s ridiculous.

Also check out this Wiki page on scientific names and stuff. It’s cool.


This biggish spider ended up on my shoulder after my face went through its web (!!!). The strands of the web were freakishly strong, like monofilament line. Encountered in San Francisco, CA.

This is a Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus), one of the more common species of orb-weaving spider found in North America. 

Gertrude, my pet orb weaver spider (Araneus diadematus)

She moved on to our window frame about two weeks ago, and I’ve been feeding her insects I catch in the house. I sleep with the window open no matter the weather and we don’t have a screen, so I am always glad to have spiders in the room to keep the mosquitoes down.

So far, I’ve seen her eat a variety of insects, but the most surprising were the cellar spider and the crane fly. I’ll try and snag a picture next time I throw something in her web. She wraps up her prey so quickly: it’s fascinating to watch.

In short, I really like Gertrude, and I’m happy she chose my window.

My dad is a total arachnophobe, but I just can’t understand it looking at her; I definitely did not inherit his phobia.


this big nasty guy’s made himself a nice big web outside our kitchen window and i can’t find out what he is.  he only comes out at night, is probably a little bigger than a quarter, and comes from northern illinois.  in fact, we’ve actually got a few of them on our property.  any ideas?

Hello, this is one of the orb-weaving spiders of the genus (Araneus spp.) I can’t make too much detail of the front of the abdomen out but this looks like the Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus), a fairly common species of orb-weaving spider.