Myth: "Arachnid" just means spider

Photo: Henry C. McCook
Photo: Henry C. McCook

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.

Spider Myths

"Everything that 'everybody knows' about spiders is wrong!" —Rod Crawford sets the record straight with Spider Myths.

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

illustration of a spider, Missulena occatoria (Australia)

A spider, Missulena occatoria (Australia).

illustration of a whipscorpion, Abaliella dicranotarsalis

A whipscorpion, Abaliella dicranotarsalis.

Illustrations of a scorpion, Charmus indicus (India)

A scorpion, Charmus indicus (India).

illustration of A pseudoscorpion, Chelifer tuberculatus (Algeria)

A pseudoscorpion, Chelifer tuberculatus (Algeria).

illustration of A harvestman, Phalangium opilio (worldwide)

A harvestman, Phalangium opilio (worldwide).

Illustration of a solpugid, Ammotrechella cubae (Cuba).

A solpugid, Ammotrechella cubae (Cuba).

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close up of a spider

Spider Myth Resources

Explore even more! Additional spider resources and more myths (poor spiders can't catch a break!).

Photo: Cathy Morris/Burke Museum
Photo: Cathy Morris/Burke Museum