Myth: "Arachnid" just means spider

October 23, 2015
Rod Crawford

Myth: "Arachnid" is just a fancy name for spider.

Fact: There are eleven orders of arachnids. These include the scorpions; mites and ticks; harvestmen; pseudoscorpions; whipscorpions; solpugids; and spiders. It's like the relation of beetles with insects: beetles constitute one order of insects, the Coleoptera, but not all insects are beetles. Similarly, not all arachnids are spiders.


Examples of 6 of the 11 orders of arachnids. Only one is a spider.

Spider illustration

A spider, Missulena occatoria (Australia).

Whipscorpion illustration

A whipscorpion, Abaliella dicranotarsalis.

scorpion illustration

A scorpion, Charmus indicus (India).

pseudoscorpion illustration

A pseudoscorpion, Chelifer tuberculatus (Algeria).

harvestman illustration

A harvestman, Phalangium opilio (worldwide).

Solpugid illustration

A solpugid, Ammotrechella cubae (Cuba).

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